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Life-History variation predicts the effects of dmographic sochasticity on avian population Dynamics

Sæther, B-E. and Engen, S. and Møller, A.P. and Weimerskirch, H. and Visser, M.E. and Fiedler, W. and Matthysen, E. and Lambrechts, M.M. and Badyaev, A. and Becker, P.H. and Brommer, J.E. and Bukacinski, D. and Bukacinski, M. and Christensen, H. and Dickinson, J. and Feu du, C. and Gehlbach, F.R. and Heg, D. and Hötker, H. and Merilä, J. and Nielsen, J.T. and Rendell, W. and Robertson, R.J. and Thomson, D. L. and Török, J. and Hecke Van, P. (2004) Life-History variation predicts the effects of dmographic sochasticity on avian population Dynamics. American Naturalist, 164, 793-802. ISSN 0003-0147.

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Comparative analyses of avian population fluctuations have shown large interspecific differences in population variability that have been difficult to relate to variation in general ecological characteristics. Here we show that interspecific variation in demographic stochasticity, caused by random variation among individuals in their fitness contributions, can be predicted from a knowledge of the species' position along a "slow-fast" gradient of life-history variation, ranging from high reproductive species with short life expectancy at one end to species that often produce a single offspring but survive well at the other end of the continuum. The demographic stochasticity decreased with adult survival rate, age at maturity, and generation time or the position of the species toward the slow end of the slow-fast life-history gradient. This relationship between life-history characteristics and demographic stochasticity was related to interspecific differences in the variation among females in recruitment as well as to differences in the individual variation in survival. Because reproductive decisions in birds are often subject to strong natural selection, our results provide strong evidence for adaptive modifications of reproductive investment through life-history evolution of the influence of stochastic variation on avian population dynamics. [KEYWORDS: demographic stochasticity ; environmental stochasticity ; life-history variation ; stochastic population dynamics ; birds]

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:11574
Deposited On:23 Nov 2011 01:00
Last Modified:14 Oct 2013 15:25

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