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Spatio-temporal variation in lifelong telomere dynamics in a long-term ecological study [Journal of Animal Ecology]

Keywords : biomarkers, intra- and inter-individual variation, life history, senescence, Seychelles warbler, telomere

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

1.Understanding individual-level variation in response to the environment is fundamental to understanding life-history evolution and population dynamics. Telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes, shorten in response to oxidative stress, and telomere shortening is correlated with reduced survival and life span. Investigating telomere dynamics may help us quantify individual variation in the costs experienced from social and ecological factors, and enhance our understanding of the dynamics of natural populations.
2.Here, we study spatio-temporal variation in lifelong telomere dynamics in the Seychelles warbler, Acrocephalus sechellensis. We combine long-term life history and ecological data with a large longitudinal dataset of mean telomere lengths, consisting of 1,808 samples from 22 cohorts born between 1993 and 2014. We provide a detailed analysis of how telomere dynamics vary over individual life spans and cohorts, and with spatio-temporal variation in the social and ecological environment.(...)

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