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Evolutionary questions regarding aging address patterns of within-individual change in traits during a lifetime. However, most studies report associations between age and, for example, reproduction based on cross-sectional comparisons, which may be confounded with progressive changes in phenotypic population composition. Unbiased estimation of patterns of(More)
1. Interest in the evolutionary origin and maintenance of individual behavioural variation and behavioural plasticity has increased in recent years. 2. Consistent individual behavioural differences imply limited behavioural plasticity, but the proximate causes and wider consequences of this potential constraint remain poorly understood. To date, few(More)
1. Long-term effects of conditions during early development on fitness are important for life history evolution and population ecology. Using multistrata mark-recapture models on 20 years of data, we quantified the relation between rearing conditions and lifetime fitness in a long-lived shorebird, the oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus). We addressed(More)
Climate change affects both the mean and variability of climatic variables, but their relative impact on the dynamics of populations is still largely unexplored. Based on a long-term study of the demography of a declining Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) population, we quantify the effect of changes in mean and variance of winter temperature(More)
In cooperative breeders, the tension between the opposing forces of kin selection and kin competition is at its most severe. Although philopatry facilitates kin selection, it also increases the risk of inbreeding. When dispersal is limited, extra-pair paternity might be an important mechanism to avoid inbreeding, but evidence for this is equivocal. The(More)
Environmental variation can induce life-history changes that can last over a large part of the lifetime of an organism. If multiple demographic traits are affected, expected changes in climate may influence environmental covariances among traits in a complex manner. Thus, examining the consequences of environmental fluctuations requires that individual(More)
Species' responses to environmental changes such as global warming are affected not only by trends in mean conditions, but also by natural and human-induced environmental fluctuations. Methods are needed to predict how such environmental variation affects ecological and evolutionary processes, in order to design effective strategies to conserve biodiversity(More)
Females should prefer to be fertilized by males that increase the genetic quality of their offspring. In vertebrates, genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) play a key role in the acquired immune response and have been shown to affect mating preferences. They are therefore important candidates for the link between mate choice and indirect(More)
Investment in offspring depends on the costs and benefits to the carer, which can vary with sex and social status. Investment also depends on the effort of others by allowing for compensation (load-lightening), with biparental care studies showing that this depends on the state and type of the other carer. By contrast, studies on cooperative breeders have(More)
One hypothesis explaining extra-pair reproduction is that socially monogamous females mate with extra-pair males to adjust the coefficient of inbreeding (f) of extra-pair offspring (EPO) relative to that of within-pair offspring (WPO) they would produce with their socially paired male. Such adjustment of offspring f requires non-random extra-pair(More)