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Article: Living slow and dying young? Life-history strategy and age-specific survival rates in a precocial small mammal

TitleLiving slow and dying young? Life-history strategy and age-specific survival rates in a precocial small mammal
Authors
KeywordsAltricical-Precocial Dichotomy
Cavies
Fecundity-Juvenile Survival Trade-Off
Slow-Fast Continuum
Small Mammals
Issue Date2005
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journals/JAE
Citation
Journal Of Animal Ecology, 2005, v. 74 n. 1, p. 171-180 How to Cite?
Abstract1. Mammalian life histories can be ordered along a slow-fast continuum from slow-developing, long-lived species with low reproductive rates at one end to rapidly developing, short-lived species with high reproductive rates at the other. Body size and mortality rate are strong correlates of the slow-fast axis, whereby juvenile and adult mortality rates correlate positively but are linked to certain life-history traits with differing strengths. The strong covariation of life-history traits renders it difficult to evaluate the adaptive value of single life-history elements. Species that deviate from the common pattern might help to identify specific selected strategies. 2. Caviomorph rodents show an unusual combination of life-history traits. Like slow-living mammals, they produce few precocial young after long gestation periods, but they have the early maturation potential of their fast-living counterparts. This combination of life-history traits suggests low levels of juvenile mortality but high adult mortality rates, and thus an unusually low ratio of juvenile to adult mortality compared to other small mammals. To test these predictions, we modelled age-specific survival probabilities using capture-recapture data from a wild population of Cavia magna. 3. Patterns of age-specific survival rates were in accordance with the predictions, but atypical for small mammals. Levels of adult survival were low, and comparable to those of much smaller rodent species. Juvenile survival probabilities were high relative to those reported for other small mammals and reached adult levels after only 1 month. The ratio of adult to early juvenile survival depended strongly on the date of birth. Whereas survival of young from the first birth cohort in spring did not differ from that of adults, early survivorship of later cohorts was lower. 4. Our results fit expectations from life-history theory and suggest that high levels of adult mortality selected for the early onset of reproduction in wild cavies. The comparatively low juvenile mortalities are probably a consequence of the precocial state of the cavy offspring. We suggest that the reproductive strategy of cavies represents a different solution to the trade-off between fecundity and juvenile survival compared to altricial small mammals.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/178857
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 4.827
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 3.359
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorKraus, Cen_US
dc.contributor.authorThomson, DLen_US
dc.contributor.authorKünkele, Jen_US
dc.contributor.authorTrillmich, Fen_US
dc.date.accessioned2012-12-19T09:50:12Z-
dc.date.available2012-12-19T09:50:12Z-
dc.date.issued2005en_US
dc.identifier.citationJournal Of Animal Ecology, 2005, v. 74 n. 1, p. 171-180en_US
dc.identifier.issn0021-8790en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/178857-
dc.description.abstract1. Mammalian life histories can be ordered along a slow-fast continuum from slow-developing, long-lived species with low reproductive rates at one end to rapidly developing, short-lived species with high reproductive rates at the other. Body size and mortality rate are strong correlates of the slow-fast axis, whereby juvenile and adult mortality rates correlate positively but are linked to certain life-history traits with differing strengths. The strong covariation of life-history traits renders it difficult to evaluate the adaptive value of single life-history elements. Species that deviate from the common pattern might help to identify specific selected strategies. 2. Caviomorph rodents show an unusual combination of life-history traits. Like slow-living mammals, they produce few precocial young after long gestation periods, but they have the early maturation potential of their fast-living counterparts. This combination of life-history traits suggests low levels of juvenile mortality but high adult mortality rates, and thus an unusually low ratio of juvenile to adult mortality compared to other small mammals. To test these predictions, we modelled age-specific survival probabilities using capture-recapture data from a wild population of Cavia magna. 3. Patterns of age-specific survival rates were in accordance with the predictions, but atypical for small mammals. Levels of adult survival were low, and comparable to those of much smaller rodent species. Juvenile survival probabilities were high relative to those reported for other small mammals and reached adult levels after only 1 month. The ratio of adult to early juvenile survival depended strongly on the date of birth. Whereas survival of young from the first birth cohort in spring did not differ from that of adults, early survivorship of later cohorts was lower. 4. Our results fit expectations from life-history theory and suggest that high levels of adult mortality selected for the early onset of reproduction in wild cavies. The comparatively low juvenile mortalities are probably a consequence of the precocial state of the cavy offspring. We suggest that the reproductive strategy of cavies represents a different solution to the trade-off between fecundity and juvenile survival compared to altricial small mammals.en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journals/JAEen_US
dc.relation.ispartofJournal of Animal Ecologyen_US
dc.subjectAltricical-Precocial Dichotomyen_US
dc.subjectCaviesen_US
dc.subjectFecundity-Juvenile Survival Trade-Offen_US
dc.subjectSlow-Fast Continuumen_US
dc.subjectSmall Mammalsen_US
dc.titleLiving slow and dying young? Life-history strategy and age-specific survival rates in a precocial small mammalen_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.identifier.emailThomson, DL: dthomson@hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.authorityThomson, DL=rp00788en_US
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltexten_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1111/j.1365-2656.2004.00910.xen_US
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-13844273242en_US
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-13844273242&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_US
dc.identifier.volume74en_US
dc.identifier.issue1en_US
dc.identifier.spage171en_US
dc.identifier.epage180en_US
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000226514300019-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridKraus, C=7006300600en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridThomson, DL=7202586830en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridKünkele, J=6603349798en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridTrillmich, F=7004077917en_US

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