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      Diversity of ageing across the tree of life.

      Nature
      Aging, physiology, Animals, Biological Evolution, Chlorophyta, Fertility, Longevity, Phylogeny, Plants, Reproduction

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          Abstract

          Evolution drives, and is driven by, demography. A genotype moulds its phenotype's age patterns of mortality and fertility in an environment; these two patterns in turn determine the genotype's fitness in that environment. Hence, to understand the evolution of ageing, age patterns of mortality and reproduction need to be compared for species across the tree of life. However, few studies have done so and only for a limited range of taxa. Here we contrast standardized patterns over age for 11 mammals, 12 other vertebrates, 10 invertebrates, 12 vascular plants and a green alga. Although it has been predicted that evolution should inevitably lead to increasing mortality and declining fertility with age after maturity, there is great variation among these species, including increasing, constant, decreasing, humped and bowed trajectories for both long- and short-lived species. This diversity challenges theoreticians to develop broader perspectives on the evolution of ageing and empiricists to study the demography of more species.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          24317695
          4157354
          10.1038/nature12789

          Chemistry
          Aging,physiology,Animals,Biological Evolution,Chlorophyta,Fertility,Longevity,Phylogeny,Plants,Reproduction
          Chemistry
          Aging, physiology, Animals, Biological Evolution, Chlorophyta, Fertility, Longevity, Phylogeny, Plants, Reproduction

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