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Sex differences in adult mortality rate mediated by early-life environmental conditions
Univ Turku, Dept Biol, Turku 20014, Finland..
Univ Stirling, Dept Biol & Environm Sci, Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology. Univ East Anglia, Sch Biol Sci, Norwich Res Pk, Norwich NR4 7TJ, Norfolk, England..
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2018 (English)In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 21, no 2, p. 235-242Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Variation in sex differences is affected by both genetic and environmental variation, with rapid change in sex differences being more likely due to environmental change. One case of rapid change in sex differences is human lifespan, which has become increasingly female-biased in recent centuries. Long-term consequences of variation in the early-life environment may, in part, explain such variation in sex differences, but whether the early-life environment mediates sex differences in life-history traits is poorly understood in animals. Combining longitudinal data on 60 cohorts of pre-industrial Finns with environmental data, we show that the early-life environment is associated with sex differences in adult mortality and expected lifespan. Specifically, low infant survival rates and high rye yields (an important food source) in early-life are associated with female-bias in adult lifespan. These results support the hypothesis that environmental change has the potential to affect sex differences in life-history traits in natural populations of long-lived mammals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
WILEY , 2018. Vol. 21, no 2, p. 235-242
Keywords [en]
Development, environmental variation, humans, life-history, sexual dimorphism
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-349833DOI: 10.1111/ele.12888ISI: 000425823900009PubMedID: 29210148OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-349833DiVA, id: diva2:1204126
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilEU, European Research CouncilAvailable from: 2018-05-07 Created: 2018-05-07 Last updated: 2018-05-07Bibliographically approved

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Bolund, ElisabethMaklakov, Alex A

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