3 years ago

Evidence of reproductive senescence of released individuals in a reinforced bird population

In free-ranging populations, age-dependent variation in fitness related parameters, in particular the pattern of senescence, has major eco-evolutionary implications and potential influence on population dynamics. Despite the recent surge of studies of senescence in the wild, senescence patterns in species for which population dynamics assessments are crucial, such as translocated populations, remain virtually unexplored. Based on a 15-year nest survey of a North-African Houbara bustard population in Morocco, we investigated age variation in the breeding performance of captive-bred females released in the wild. We identified 781 females, from 1 to 10years of age, on 1094 nests. We examined how age influenced nest initiation date, clutch size, egg volume, daily nest survival and daily brood survival, as well as whether age-dependent patterns varied according to environmental conditions. Most breeding parameters exhibited variation, suggesting an increase in breeding performance with age in young females (those from 1 to 3years old). In older females (>7–8years old), the egg volume and clutch size decreased with age, in concordance with expectations from senescence theories and previous empirical results obtained from captive Houbara bustards. Finally, our analysis uncovered a significant interaction between age and the amount of precipitation prior to the breeding season on clutch size, suggesting differential abilities of females of different ages to increase their breeding investment. Our study suggests that life histories in translocated individuals are not affected by translocation protocols and provides insights for implementing age dependencies in population viability assessments.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0006320717306912

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.