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Journal Articles American Journal of Primatology Year : 2017

High reproductive effort is associated with decreasing mortality late in life in captive ruffed lemurs

Abstract

Evolutionary theories of senescence predict that a high allocation to reproduction during early life should have long-term deleterious consequences on future reproduction or survival because individuals have to face an energy allocation trade-off between reproductive effort and the maintenance of body condition. Using a high-quality dataset from 1,721 red ruffed lemurs (RRL, Varecia rubra) and 3,637 black and white ruffed lemurs (BWRM, V. variegata) living in captivity, we tested the existence of a trade-off between reproductive effort and late-life survival after accounting for possible confounding effects of natal environmental conditions. We report clear evidence of actuarial senescence (i.e., the decline of annual survival with increasing age) in both sexes and for both species of ruffed lemurs. RRL had a lower baseline mortality and senesced faster than BWRL, resulting in similar distributions of longevities for both species. No between-sex difference was observed in any species. Lastly, a higher reproductive effort was positively associated with an increase of survival late in life, and thereby an increased longevity. These findings indicate that individual quality rather than trade-off drives the association between reproductive success and survival pattern among individual lemurs of both species in the protected environment provided by zoos. Lemurs are among the world's highest conservation priorities and better understanding factors influencing their longevity and actuarial senescence patterns should improve their conservation.
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hal-01943803 , version 1 (20-09-2022)

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Morgane Tidière, Jean-François Lemaitre, Guillaume Douay, Mylisa Whipple, Jean-Michel Gaillard. High reproductive effort is associated with decreasing mortality late in life in captive ruffed lemurs. American Journal of Primatology, 2017, 79 (9), pp.e22677. ⟨10.1002/ajp.22677⟩. ⟨hal-01943803⟩
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