Natal dispersal and senescence

  • Ronce O
  • Clobert J
  • Massot M
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The potential existence of natal dispersal strategies depending on parental age has been suggested by Hamilton and May [Hamilton, W. D. & May, R. M. (1977) Nature 269, 578-581] for organisms whose survival rates decline with age, When competition between parent and offspring is strong, any individual should disperse a smaller fraction of its offspring when it ages, Here, we verify their verbal prediction, First, we determine the evolutionarily stable dispersal strategy conditional on parental age, associated with a particular senescence curve, We show that such a conditional dispersal strategy should evolve independently from the genotype controlling the offspring dispersal behavior, Second, studying a population of common lizards, we provide empirical evidence of a relation between dispersal of female offspring and maternal senescence, in agreement with our theoretical predictions.

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  • O. Ronce

  • J. Clobert

  • M. Massot

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