Similar patterns of age-specific reproduction in an island and mainland population of great tits Parus major

Sandra Bouwhuis*, Arie J. van Noordwijk, Ben C. Sheldon, Simon Verhulst, Marcel E. Visser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The process of ageing was long thought to be too infrequent to affect life-histories in natural populations. Long-term studies have, however, recently demonstrated ageing to be ubiquitous even in the wild, although confounding factors, such as emigration instead of mortality, or inter-population variation in rates of ageing have seldom been addressed. Here, we present analyses of female age-specific reproductive performance in a Dutch island population of great tits Parus major. For this population with limited connectivity to surrounding areas, we show that, between individuals, reproductive lifespan positively co-varies with recruit production, while within individuals performance improves up to 3 years of age, after which it gradually declines. We also show these patterns to be strikingly similar to those recently found in a less isolated British mainland population of great tits, characterised by different environmental conditions and life-history strategies, in particular the frequency of multiple breeding. Our results therefore suggest patterns of age-specific reproductive performance to be robust to both environmental and life-history variation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-620
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Avian Biology
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2010

Keywords

  • WILD BIRD POPULATION
  • LIFE-HISTORY TRAITS
  • NATAL DISPERSAL
  • INDIVIDUAL VARIATION
  • NATURAL-POPULATION
  • GENE FLOW
  • SENESCENCE
  • FITNESS
  • EVOLUTION
  • QUALITY

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