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DOI

1. Trade-offs between survival and reproduction are at the core of life-history theory, and essential to understanding the evolution of reproductive tactics as well as
population dynamics and stability. Factors influencing these trade-offs are multiple and often addressed in isolation. Further problems arise as reproductive states
and survival in wild populations are estimated based on imperfect and potentially
biased observation processes, which might lead to flawed conclusions.
2. In this study, we aimed at elucidating trade-offs between current reproduction
(both pregnancy and lactation), survival and future reproduction, including the
specific costs of first reproduction, in long-lived, income breeding small mammals,
an under-studied group.
3. We developed a novel statistical framework that encapsulates the breeding life
cycle of females, and accounts for incomplete information on female pregnancy
and lactation and imperfect and biased recapture rates. We applied this framework to longitudinal data on two sympatric, closely related bat species (Myotis
daubentonii and M. nattereri).
4. We revealed the existence of several, to our knowledge previously unknown,
trends in survival and breeding of these closely related, sympatric species and
detected remarkable differences in their age and costs of first reproduction, as
well as their survival–reproduction trade-offs.
5. Our results indicate that species with this type of life history exhibit a mixture of
patterns expected for long-lived and short-lived animals, and between income and
capital breeders. Thus, we call for more studies to be conducted in similar study
systems, increasing our ability to fully understand the evolutionary origin and fitness effects of trade-offs and senescence.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Animal Ecology
VolumeOnline
DOI
StateE-pub ahead of print - 2019

    Research areas

  • international

ID: 9608252