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The relationships linking age and body mass to vital rates : a comparative perspective in birds and mammals

Victor Ronget 1
1 Biodémographie évolutive
Département écologie évolutive [LBBE]
Abstract : Individuals varies in terms of survival and reproduction. Most of those variations in vital rates can be linked to individual characteristics such as age or body mass. Demographic models were developed to make prediction on those trait-structured populations and are now often used to manage wild populations. However, the amount of data needed to perform those models is not available for every populations. To overcome this issue, I tried in my thesis to assess the general patterns for the relationships linking age and body mass to the vital rates in birds and mammals. By comparing relationship extracted in the literature, I was then able to assess the general effect of body or age on vital rates as well as the biological factor explaining the variation of those relationships between species and populations. I first assess how body mass influence vital rates in birds and mammals. I demonstrated the positive effect of offspring body mass on offspring survival and showed how the relative importance of each causes of mortality influence this relationship, with for instance a negative effect of the predation rate on the intensity of the relationship. I also showed that mother body mass is positively related to offspring body mass and that heavier mother are also more likely to reproduce. On a second part I focused on describing the relationship between age and survival for mammals. We built a database MALDDABA compiling all relationships linking vital rates to age for wild mammals from life tables reported in the literature. Using life table data compiled in the database I was able to demonstrate that females live on average longer than males in wild populations of mammals. I then critically assess the metrics of longevity and provide new insight to describe the relationship between mortality and age. With my thesis I provided new views on the uses of comparative approach to highlight the major factors influencing the population dynamic in the wild
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Victor Ronget. The relationships linking age and body mass to vital rates : a comparative perspective in birds and mammals. Populations and Evolution [q-bio.PE]. Université de Lyon, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018LYSE1304⟩. ⟨tel-02076657⟩

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