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Birth timing generates reproductive trade-offs in a non-seasonal breeding primate

Dezeure, J; Baniel, A; Carter, A; Cowlishaw, G; Godelle, B; Huchard, E; (2021) Birth timing generates reproductive trade-offs in a non-seasonal breeding primate. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , 288 (1950) , Article 20210286. 10.1098/rspb.2021.0286. Green open access

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Abstract

The evolutionary benefits of reproductive seasonality are often measured by a single-fitness component, namely offspring survival. Yet different fitness components may be maximized by different birth timings. This may generate fitness trade-offs that could be critical to understanding variation in reproductive timing across individuals, populations and species. Here, we use long-term demographic and behavioural data from wild chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) living in a seasonal environment to test the adaptive significance of seasonal variation in birth frequencies. We identify two distinct optimal birth timings in the annual cycle, located four-month apart, which maximize offspring survival or minimize maternal interbirth intervals (IBIs), by respectively matching the annual food peak with late or early weaning. Observed births are the most frequent between these optima, supporting an adaptive trade-off between current and future reproduction. Furthermore, infants born closer to the optimal timing favouring maternal IBIs (instead of offspring survival) throw more tantrums, a typical manifestation of mother-offspring conflict. Maternal trade-offs over birth timing, which extend into mother-offspring conflict after birth, may commonly occur in long-lived species where development from birth to independence spans multiple seasons. Our findings therefore open new avenues to understanding the evolution of breeding phenology in long-lived animals, including humans.

Type: Article
Title: Birth timing generates reproductive trade-offs in a non-seasonal breeding primate
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2021.0286
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.0286
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: birth timing, life-history trade-offs, mother–offspring conflict, primates, reproductive seasonality, Animals, Female, Parturition, Pregnancy, Primates, Reproduction, Seasons
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10129034
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