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Hal Caswell and Roberto Salguero-Gómez Age, stage and senescence in plants Journal of Ecology 101

Version of Record online: 24 APR 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12088

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Theories for the evolution of senescence focus on the decline with age in the magnitude of the selection gradient on age-specific mortality. This decline implies that mortality late in life has less impact on fitness than mortality early in life. The demography of plants, however, often depends on size or stage rather than on age alone. We develop an age-stage classified model and show that in such a population the selection gradient on mortality may increase, rather than decrease, with age within a stage, leading to contra-senescent selection.

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