Individual heterogeneity and senescence in Silvereyes on Heron Island

Knape, Jonas, Jonzén, Niclas, Sköld, Martin, Kikkawa, Jiro and McCallum, Hamish (2011) Individual heterogeneity and senescence in Silvereyes on Heron Island. Ecology, 92 4: 813-820. doi:10.1890/10-0183.1

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Author Knape, Jonas
Jonzén, Niclas
Sköld, Martin
Kikkawa, Jiro
McCallum, Hamish
Title Individual heterogeneity and senescence in Silvereyes on Heron Island
Journal name Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0012-9658
Publication date 2011-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1890/10-0183.1
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 92
Issue 4
Start page 813
End page 820
Total pages 8
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Individual heterogeneity and correlations between life history traits play a fundamental role in life history evolution and population dynamics. Unobserved individual heterogeneity in survival can be a nuisance for estimation of age effects at the individual level by causing bias due to mortality selection. We jointly analyze survival and breeding output from successful breeding attempts in an island population of Silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis chlorocephalus) by fitting models that incorporate age effects and individual heterogeneity via random effects. The number of offspring produced increased with age of parents in their first years of life but then eventually declined with age. A similar pattern was found for the probability of successful breeding. Annual survival declined with age even when individual heterogeneity was not accounted for. The rate of senescence in survival, however, depends on the variance of individual heterogeneity and vice versa; hence, both cannot be simultaneously estimated with precision. Model selection supported individual heterogeneity in breeding performance, but we found no correlation between individual heterogeneity in survival and breeding performance. We argue that individual random effects, unless unambiguously identified, should be treated as statistical nuisance or taken as a starting point in a search for mechanisms rather than given direct biological interpretation.
Keyword Breeding
Individual heterogeneity
Parameter identifiability
Zosterops lateralis chlorocephalus
Dynamic heterogeneity
Capricorn silvereye
Marked animals
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 11 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 11 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 02 Sep 2011, 17:02:03 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Integrative Systems