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Age at maturity in wild baboons: genetic, environmental and demographic influences

Author(s): Charpentier, M.J.E.; Tung, J.; Altmann, J.; Alberts, S.C.

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Abstract: The timing of early life-history events, such as sexual maturation and first reproduction, can greatly influence variation in individual fitness. In this study, we analysed possible sources of variation underlying different measures of age at social and physical maturation in wild baboons in the Amboseli basin, Kenya. The Amboseli baboons are a natural population primarily comprised of yellow baboons (Papio cynocephalus) that occasionally hybridize with anubis baboons (Papio anubis) from outside the basin. We found that males and females differed in the extent to which various factors influenced their maturation. Surprisingly, we found that male maturation was most strongly related to the proportion of anubis ancestry revealed by their microsatellite genotypes: hybrid males matured earlier than yellow males. In contrast, although hybrid females reached menarche slightly earlier than yellow females, maternal rank and the presence of maternal relatives had the largest effects on female maturation, followed by more modest effects of group size and rainfall. Our results indicate that a complex combination of demographic, genetic, environmental, and maternal effects contribute to variation in the timing of these life-history milestones.
Publication Date: Apr-2008
Electronic Publication Date: 10-Mar-2008
Citation: Charpentier, MJE, Tung, J, Altmann, J, Alberts, SC. (2008). Age at maturity in wild baboons: genetic, environmental and demographic influences. Molecular Ecology, 17 (8), 2026 - 2040. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2008.03724.x
DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2008.03724.x
ISSN: 0962-1083
Pages: 2026 - 2040
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Molecular Ecology
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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