Slower senescence in a wild insect population in years with a more female-biased sex ratio

Rodríguez-Muñoz, R., Boonekamp, J. J. , Fisher, D., Hopwood, P. and Tregenza, T. (2019) Slower senescence in a wild insect population in years with a more female-biased sex ratio. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 286(1900), 20190286. (doi: 10.1098/rspb.2019.0286) (PMID:30940063) (PMCID:PMC6501688)

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Abstract

Life-history theories of senescence are based on the existence of a trade-off in resource allocation between body maintenance and reproduction. This putative trade-off means that environmental and demographic factors affecting the costs of reproduction should be associated with changes in patterns of senescence. In many species, competition among males is a major component of male reproductive investment, and hence variation in the sex ratio is expected to affect rates of senescence. We test this prediction using nine years of demographic and behavioural data from a wild population of the annual field cricket Gryllus campestris. Over these generations, the sex ratio at adulthood varied substantially, from years with an equal number of each sex to years with twice as many females as males. Consistent with the predictions of theory, we found that in years with a greater proportion of females, both sexes experienced a slower increase in mortality rate with age. Additionally, phenotypic senescence in males was slower in years when there were more females. Sex ratio did not affect the baseline mortality rate in males, but females suffered higher age-independent mortality rates when males were in short supply.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC); standard grants: NE/E005403/1, NE/H02364X/1, NE/L003635/1, NE/R000328/1 and studentship: NE/H02249X/1 (D.F.), the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 792215 (J.J.B.).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boonekamp, Dr Jelle
Authors: Rodríguez-Muñoz, R., Boonekamp, J. J., Fisher, D., Hopwood, P., and Tregenza, T.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8452
ISSN (Online):1471-2954
Published Online:03 April 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences 286(1900):20190286
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
Data DOI:10.5061/dryad.fk52454

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