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12 March 2016 Age-specific survival in the socially monogamous alpine marmot (Marmota marmota): evidence of senescence
Vérane Berger, Jean-François Lemaître, Pierre Dupont, Dominique Allainé, Jean-Michel Gaillard, Aurélie Cohas
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Abstract

We investigated age-specific variation in survival of dominant individuals in a long-lived and monogamous mammal, the alpine marmot (Marmota marmota), from a large dataset collected during a 24-year intensive monitoring of a free-ranging population. We found evidence of actuarial senescence in dominant individuals for both sexes. Survivorship was constant with age until dominant marmots were between 6 and 8 years of age and declined markedly thereafter. No between sex differences occurred in the intensity of actuarial senescence, which might be related to the weak intensity of sexual selection in this socially monogamous mammal. More investigations are needed to know whether cooperative breeding, hibernation, and monogamy, which are key features of the alpine marmot life history, could have shaped the patterns of actuarial senescence we report.

© 2016 American Society of Mammalogists, www.mammalogy.org
Vérane Berger, Jean-François Lemaître, Pierre Dupont, Dominique Allainé, Jean-Michel Gaillard, and Aurélie Cohas "Age-specific survival in the socially monogamous alpine marmot (Marmota marmota): evidence of senescence," Journal of Mammalogy 97(3), 992-1000, (12 March 2016). https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyw028
Received: 26 August 2015; Accepted: 15 February 2016; Published: 12 March 2016
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