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Keywords:

  • Aging;
  • demographic variance;
  • evolution;
  • pleiotropy;
  • senescence;
  • stochasticity

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.