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Journal Articles Mechanisms of Ageing and Development Year : 2020

Female reproductive senescence across mammals: A high diversity of patterns modulated by life history and mating traits

Abstract

Senescence patterns are highly variable across the animal kingdom. However, while empirical evidence of actuarial senescence in vertebrates is accumulating in the wild and life history correlates of actuarial senescence are increasingly identified, both the extent and variation of reproductive senescence across species remain poorly studied. Here, we performed the first large-scale analysis of female reproductive senescence across 101 mammalian species that encompassed a wide range of Orders. We found evidence of reproductive senescence in 68.31 % of the species, which demonstrates that reproductive senescence is pervasive in mammals. As expected from allometric rules, the onset of reproductive senescence occurs later and the rate of reproductive senescence decreases with increasing body mass and delayed age at first reproduction. Moreover, for a given pace of life, females displaying a high level of multiple mating and/or with induced ovulation senesce earlier than females displaying a low level of multiple mating and/or with spontaneous ovulation. These results suggest that both female mating behavior and reproductive physiology shape the diversity of reproductive senescence patterns across mammals. We propose future avenues of research regarding the role played by environmental conditions or reproductive features (e.g. type of placentation) on the evolution of reproductive senescence.
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Dates and versions

hal-03453115 , version 1 (27-11-2021)

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Jean-François Lemaître, Victor Ronget, Jean-Michel Gaillard. Female reproductive senescence across mammals: A high diversity of patterns modulated by life history and mating traits. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 2020, 192, pp.111377. ⟨10.1016/j.mad.2020.111377⟩. ⟨hal-03453115⟩
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