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Data from: Senescence of maternal effects: aging influences egg quality and rearing capacities of a long-lived bird

Citation

Beamonte-Barrientos, René; Velando, Alberto; Drummond, Hugh; Torres, Roxana (2009), Data from: Senescence of maternal effects: aging influences egg quality and rearing capacities of a long-lived bird, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1109

Abstract

Senescence could depress prenatal and postnatal capacities of mothers to invest in offspring. Longitudinal observations on the blue-footed booby (Sula Nebouxii) revealed a quadratic effect of female age on fledgling production and cohorts differences in rate of reproductive decline. By swapping clutches between females of different ages, we tested whether reproductive senescence is due to decline in egg quality or capacity to care. As laying mothers aged, egg size, ulna length of 5-days old chicks, and ulna growth of second chicks up to age 30-days declined; and as rearing mothers aged, ulna growth and cellular mediated immune response of second chicks diminished. Oddly, the number of fledglings produced by senescent females (> 11 years) was greater rearing offspring of middle-aged females (8-11 years) than offspring of senescent or young females. Thus, senescence reduced egg quality and rearing capacities, and reproductive success of senescent mothers depended on prenatal effects associated with the age of the laying mother. Reproductive senescence of boobies may involve constraints on resources allocated to reproduction as well as adaptive adjustment of provision and care according to offspring value, implying that negative effects of senescence on offspring survival can be ameliorated by plasticity in post-laying or postnatal care.

Usage Notes

Location

Nayarit
Isla Isabel
Mexico
North America