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Seychelles warblers with silver spoons: juvenile condition is a lifelong predictor of annual survival, but not annual reproduction or senescence
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  • Thomas Brown,
  • Hannah Dugdale,
  • Martijn Hammers,
  • Jan Komdeur,
  • David Richardson
Thomas Brown
University of East Anglia

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Hannah Dugdale
Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences
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Martijn Hammers
Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences
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Jan Komdeur
Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences
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David Richardson
University of East Anglia
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1) The environment experienced during development, and its impact on intrinsic condition, can have lasting outcomes for adult phenotypes and could contribute to the individual variation in senescence trajectories. 2) However, the nature of this relationship in wild populations remains uncertain, owing to the difficulties in summarizing environmental complexity and long-term monitoring of individuals from free-roaming long-lived species. 3) In this study, we determine whether juvenile condition (derived from measures of body mass and size) is associated with senescence-related traits of a closely monitored population of Seychelles warblers (Acrocephalus sechellensis). 4) Juveniles with a higher condition index were more likely to survive to adulthood – suggesting these juveniles experienced better developmental conditions. Furthermore, these juveniles as adults were in better condition and had higher rates of annual survival, independently of age. In contrast, there was no association between juvenile condition and declines in adult telomere length (a measure of somatic stress) nor annual reproduction. 5) These results indicate that juvenile condition, while not associated with senescence trajectories, can influence the likelihood of surviving to old age due to silver-spoon effects. This study shows that measures of intrinsic condition in juveniles can provide important insights into long-term fitness of individuals in wild populations.
10 Nov 2021Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
11 Nov 2021Submission Checks Completed
11 Nov 2021Assigned to Editor
11 Nov 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
30 Nov 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
01 Dec 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
17 Mar 20221st Revision Received
17 Mar 2022Assigned to Editor
17 Mar 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
17 Mar 2022Submission Checks Completed
17 Mar 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
01 Apr 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
30 May 20222nd Revision Received
30 May 2022Submission Checks Completed
30 May 2022Assigned to Editor
30 May 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
01 Jun 2022Editorial Decision: Accept