Evolution of aging through reduced demographic stochasticity – an extension of the pleiotropy theory to finite populations

Authors

  • Stefano Giaimo

    Corresponding author
    1. Max Planck Research Group, Modeling the Evolution of Aging, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany
    • Correspondence

      Stefano Giaimo, Max Planck Research Group, Modeling the Evolution of Aging, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Konrad Zuse Strasse 1, 18057 Rostock, Germany. Tel: +49 (0)381 2081-113; Fax: +49 (0)381 2081-570; E-mail: giaimo@demogr.mpg.de

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Abstract

In finite populations, there is selection against demographic stochasticity. In this study, it is shown that an increase in the rate of aging, here defined as an increase in early-life survival at the expense of later survival, may reduce this form of stochasticity. In particular, a trade-off between juvenile and adult survival is highly efficient in reducing demographic stochasticity. Therefore, aging may evolve as a response to selective pressure for reduced demographic stochasticity.

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