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Title: Age-related variation in foraging behaviour in the wandering albatross at South Georgia: no evidence for senescence
Authors: Froy, Hannah
Lewis, Sue
Catry, Paulo Xavier 
Bishop, Charles M.
Forster, Isaac P.
Fukuda, Akira
Higuchi, Hiroyoshi
Phalan, Ben
Xavier, José C. 
Nussey, Daniel H.
Phillips, Richard A.
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Project: HF was funded by a George Macdougal Mackintosh Scholarship. SL was supported by a Natural Environment Research Council postdoctoral fellowship ( and DHN was supported by a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council David Phillips fellowship ( The fieldwork in 2012 was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council Collaborative Gearing Scheme, and the British Antarctic Survey Polar Science for Planet Earth Programme 
Serial title, monograph or event: PLoS ONE
Volume: 10
Issue: 1
Abstract: Age-related variation in demographic rates is now widely documented in wild vertebrate systems, and has significant consequences for population and evolutionary dynamics. However, the mechanisms underpinning such variation, particularly in later life, are less well understood. Foraging efficiency is a key determinant of fitness, with implications for individual life history trade-offs. A variety of faculties known to decline in old age, such as muscular function and visual acuity, are likely to influence foraging performance. We examine age-related variation in the foraging behaviour of a long-lived, wide-ranging oceanic seabird, the wandering albatross Diomedea exulans. Using miniaturised tracking technologies, we compared foraging trip characteristics of birds breeding at Bird Island, South Georgia. Based on movement and immersion data collected during the incubation phase of a single breeding season, and from extensive tracking data collected in previous years from different stages of the breeding cycle, we found limited evidence for age-related variation in commonly reported trip parameters, and failed to detect signs of senescent decline. Our results contrast with the limited number of past studies that have examined foraging behaviour in later life, since these have documented changes in performance consistent with senescence. This highlights the importance of studies across different wild animal populations to gain a broader perspective on the processes driving variation in ageing rates.
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0116415
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D MARE - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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