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Data from: Sex-specific effects of inbreeding on reproductive senescence


de Boer, Raissa A.; Eens, Marcel; Müller, Wendt (2018), Data from: Sex-specific effects of inbreeding on reproductive senescence, Dryad, Dataset,


Inbreeding depression plays a significant role in evolutionary biology and ecology. Yet, we lack a clear understanding of the fitness consequences of inbreeding depression. Studies often focus on short-term effects of inbreeding in juvenile offspring whereas inbreeding depression in adult traits and the interplay between inbreeding depression and age is rarely addressed. Inbreeding depression may increase with age and accelerate the decline in reproductive output in ageing individuals (‘reproductive senescence’), which could be subject to sex-specific dynamics. We test this hypothesis with a longitudinal experimental study in a short-lived songbird. Adult inbred and outbred male and female canaries were paired in a 2x2 factorial design and survival and annual reproductive performance were studied for three years. We found inbreeding depression in female egg-laying ability, male fertilization success and survival of both sexes. Annual reproductive success of both males and females declined when paired with an inbred partner independent of their own inbreeding status. This shows that inbreeding can have fitness costs in outbred individuals when they mate with an inbred individual. Further, inbred females showed faster reproductive senescence than outbred females, confirming that inbreeding depression and age can interact to affect fitness. In contrast, there was no evidence for an interaction between inbreeding depression and reproductive senescence in male fertilization success. Our findings highlight the importance of considering sex-specific effects and age to determine the full range of fitness consequences of inbreeding and demonstrate that inbreeding depression can accelerate reproductive senescence.

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