The contributions of maternal age heterogeneity to variance in lifetime reproductive output
van Daalen, Silke F.
Hernández, Christina M.
Neubert, Michael G.
Gribble, Kristin E.
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Variance among individuals in fitness components reflects both genuine heterogeneity between individuals and stochasticity in events experienced along the life cycle. Maternal age represents a form of heterogeneity that affects both the mean and the variance of lifetime reproductive output (LRO). Here, we quantify the relative contribution of maternal age heterogeneity to the variance in LRO using individual-level laboratory data on the rotifer Brachionus manjavacas to parameterize a multistate age × maternal age matrix model. In B. manjavacas, advanced maternal age has large negative effects on offspring survival and fertility. We used multistate Markov chains with rewards to quantify the contributions to variance in LRO of heterogeneity and of the stochasticity inherent in the outcomes of probabilistic transitions and reproductive events. Under laboratory conditions, maternal age heterogeneity contributes 26% of the variance in LRO. The contribution changes when mortality and fertility are reduced to mimic more ecologically relevant environments. Over the parameter space where populations are near stationarity, maternal age heterogeneity contributes an average of 3% of the variance. Thus, the contributions of maternal age heterogeneity and individual stochasticity can be expected to depend strongly on environmental conditions; over most of the parameter space, the variance in LRO is dominated by stochasticity.
© The Author(s), 2022. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in van Daalen, S. F., Hernandez, C. M., Caswell, H., Neubert, M. G., & Gribble, K. E. The contributions of maternal age heterogeneity to variance in lifetime reproductive output. American Naturalist,199(5), (2022): 603-616, https://doi.org/10.1086/718716.
Suggested Citationvan Daalen, S. F., Hernandez, C. M., Caswell, H., Neubert, M. G., & Gribble, K. E. (2022). The contributions of maternal age heterogeneity to variance in lifetime reproductive output. American Naturalist,199(5), 603-616.
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