The Evolutionary Advantages of Dying Young: Epidemiological Implications of Longevity in Metapopulations.

@article{Kirchner1999TheEA,
  title={The Evolutionary Advantages of Dying Young: Epidemiological Implications of Longevity in Metapopulations.},
  author={James W Kirchner and Bitty A. Roy},
  journal={The American naturalist},
  year={1999},
  volume={154 2},
  pages={140-159}
}
Here we show that pathogen-mediated selection can influence the evolution of host longevity. Greater longevity can impair the fitness of host organisms subject to pathogen attack, by reducing the mortality rate of infected hosts and thus creating a larger and more persistent reservoir of disease, from which infection can spread to the healthy population. Where longer-lived and shorter-lived hosts can infect one another (and thus all share the same risk of infection), selection will favor longer… CONTINUE READING
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