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Age-related change in breeding performance in early life is associated with an increase in competence in the migratory barn swallow Hirundo rustica

Balbontin, Javier; Hermosell, Ignacio G.; Marzal, Alfonso LU ; Reviriego, Maribel; De Lope, Florentino and Möller, Anders Pape (2007) In Journal of Animal Ecology 76(5). p.915-925
Abstract
1. We investigated age-related changes in two reproductive traits (laying date and annual fecundity) in barn swallows Hirundo rustica L. using a mixed model approach to di-stinguish among between- and within-individual changes in breeding performance with age. 2. We tested predictions of age-related improvements of competence (i.e. constraint hypothesis) and age-related progressive disappearance of poor-quality breeders (i.e. selection hypothesis) to explain age-related increase in breeding performance in early life. 3. Reproductive success increased in early life, reaching a plateau at middle age (e.g. at 3 years of age) and decreasing at older age (> 4 years). Age-related changes in breeding success were due mainly to an effect of... (More)
1. We investigated age-related changes in two reproductive traits (laying date and annual fecundity) in barn swallows Hirundo rustica L. using a mixed model approach to di-stinguish among between- and within-individual changes in breeding performance with age. 2. We tested predictions of age-related improvements of competence (i.e. constraint hypothesis) and age-related progressive disappearance of poor-quality breeders (i.e. selection hypothesis) to explain age-related increase in breeding performance in early life. 3. Reproductive success increased in early life, reaching a plateau at middle age (e.g. at 3 years of age) and decreasing at older age (> 4 years). Age-related changes in breeding success were due mainly to an effect of female age. 4. Age of both female and male affected timing of reproduction. Final linear mixed effect models (LME) for laying date included main and quadratic terms for female and male age, suggesting a deterioration in reproductive performance at older age for both males and females. 5. We found evidence supporting the constraints hypothesis that increases in competence within individuals, with ageing being the most probable cause of the observed increase in breeding performance with age in early life. Two mechanisms were implicated: (1) advance in male arrival date with age provided middle-aged males with better access to mates. Yearling males arrived later to the breeding grounds and therefore had limited access to high-quality mates. (2) Breeding pairs maintaining bonds for 2 consecutive years (experienced pairs) had higher fecundity than newly formed inexperienced breeding pairs. 6. There was no support for the selection hypothesis because breeding performance was not correlated with life span. 7. We found a within-individual deterioration in breeding and migratory performance (arrival date) in the oldest age-classes consistent with senescence in these reproductive and migratory traits. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
longevity, linear mixed effect models (LME), fecundity, breeding experience, constraints and selection hypothesis, senescence, timing of, reproduction
in
Journal of Animal Ecology
volume
76
issue
5
pages
915 - 925
publisher
Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
external identifiers
  • wos:000249088900010
  • scopus:34547861269
ISSN
1365-2656
DOI
10.1111/j.1365-2656.2007.01269.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5226180f-1c1e-41b9-ad03-0c8154270e4e (old id 687976)
date added to LUP
2007-12-05 08:39:00
date last changed
2017-08-27 03:47:55
@article{5226180f-1c1e-41b9-ad03-0c8154270e4e,
  abstract     = {1. We investigated age-related changes in two reproductive traits (laying date and annual fecundity) in barn swallows Hirundo rustica L. using a mixed model approach to di-stinguish among between- and within-individual changes in breeding performance with age. 2. We tested predictions of age-related improvements of competence (i.e. constraint hypothesis) and age-related progressive disappearance of poor-quality breeders (i.e. selection hypothesis) to explain age-related increase in breeding performance in early life. 3. Reproductive success increased in early life, reaching a plateau at middle age (e.g. at 3 years of age) and decreasing at older age (> 4 years). Age-related changes in breeding success were due mainly to an effect of female age. 4. Age of both female and male affected timing of reproduction. Final linear mixed effect models (LME) for laying date included main and quadratic terms for female and male age, suggesting a deterioration in reproductive performance at older age for both males and females. 5. We found evidence supporting the constraints hypothesis that increases in competence within individuals, with ageing being the most probable cause of the observed increase in breeding performance with age in early life. Two mechanisms were implicated: (1) advance in male arrival date with age provided middle-aged males with better access to mates. Yearling males arrived later to the breeding grounds and therefore had limited access to high-quality mates. (2) Breeding pairs maintaining bonds for 2 consecutive years (experienced pairs) had higher fecundity than newly formed inexperienced breeding pairs. 6. There was no support for the selection hypothesis because breeding performance was not correlated with life span. 7. We found a within-individual deterioration in breeding and migratory performance (arrival date) in the oldest age-classes consistent with senescence in these reproductive and migratory traits.},
  author       = {Balbontin, Javier and Hermosell, Ignacio G. and Marzal, Alfonso and Reviriego, Maribel and De Lope, Florentino and Möller, Anders Pape},
  issn         = {1365-2656},
  keyword      = {longevity,linear mixed effect models (LME),fecundity,breeding experience,constraints and selection hypothesis,senescence,timing of,reproduction},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {915--925},
  publisher    = {Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Animal Ecology},
  title        = {Age-related change in breeding performance in early life is associated with an increase in competence in the migratory barn swallow Hirundo rustica},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2656.2007.01269.x},
  volume       = {76},
  year         = {2007},
}