Testing the effect of early‐life reproductive effort on age‐related decline in a wild insect

Rodríguez‐Muñoz, R., Boonekamp, J. J. , Liu, X. P., Skicko, I., Fisher, D. N., Hopwood, P. and Tregenza, T. (2019) Testing the effect of early‐life reproductive effort on age‐related decline in a wild insect. Evolution, 73(2), pp. 317-328. (doi: 10.1111/evo.13679) (PMID:30597559) (PMCID:PMC6590129)

219646.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



The disposable soma theory of ageing predicts that when organisms invest in reproduction they do so by reducing their investment in body maintenance, inducing a trade‐off between reproduction and survival. Experiments on invertebrates in the lab provide support for the theory by demonstrating the predicted responses to manipulation of reproductive effort or lifespan. However, experimental studies in birds and evidence from observational (nonmanipulative) studies in nature do not consistently reveal trade‐offs. Most species studied previously in the wild are mammals and birds that reproduce over multiple discrete seasons. This contrasts with temperate invertebrates, which typically have annual generations and reproduce over a single season. We expand the taxonomic range of senescence study systems to include life histories typical of most temperate invertebrates. We monitored reproductive effort, ageing, and survival in a natural field cricket population over ten years to test the prediction that individuals investing more in early‐reproduction senesce faster and die younger. We found no evidence of a trade‐off between early‐life reproductive effort and survival, and only weak evidence for a trade‐off with phenotypic senescence. We discuss the possibility that organisms with multiple discrete breeding seasons may have greater opportunities to express trade‐offs between reproduction and senescence.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boonekamp, Dr Jelle
Authors: Rodríguez‐Muñoz, R., Boonekamp, J. J., Liu, X. P., Skicko, I., Fisher, D. N., Hopwood, P., and Tregenza, T.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Evolution
Publisher:Wiley for The Society for the Study of Evolution
ISSN (Online):1558-5646
Published Online:10 January 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Author(s)
First Published:First published in Evolution 73(2):317-328
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record