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Effects of developmental and adult environments on ageing

Cite this dataset

Sanghvi, Krish et al. (2022). Effects of developmental and adult environments on ageing [Dataset]. Dryad.


Developmental and adult environments can interact in complex ways to influence the fitness of individuals. Most studies investigating effects of the environment on fitness focus on environments experienced and traits expressed at a single point in an organism’s life. However, environments vary with time, so the effects of the environments that organisms experience at different ages may interact to affect how traits change throughout life. Here we test whether thermal stress experienced during development leads individuals to cope better with thermal stress as adults. We manipulated temperature during both development and adulthood and measured a range of life-history traits, including senescence, in male and female seed beetles (Callosobruchus maculatus). We found that thermal stress during development reduced adult reproductive performance of females. In contrast, lifespan and age-dependent mortality were affected more by adult than developmental environments, with high adult temperatures decreasing longevity and increasing age-dependent mortality. Aside from an interaction between developmental and adult environments to affect age-dependent changes in male weight, we did not find any evidence of a beneficial acclimation response to developmental thermal stress. Overall, our results show that effects of developmental and adult environments can be both sex- and trait- specific, and that a full understanding of how environments interact to affect fitness and ageing requires the integrated study of conditions experienced during different stages of ontogeny.


This dataset was collected using an experiment on seed beetles which tests for effects of developmental and adult environments on ageing. It has been processed by splitting the overall dataset into 3 datasheets: one one non age-dependent traits, the other on age-dependent fecundity in females, and third on age-dependent weight change in males.

Usage notes

Excel or R


Australian Research Council