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Université de Fribourg

Reduced lifespan and increased ageing driven by genetic drift in small populations

Lohr, Jennifer N. ; David, Patrice ; Haag, Christoph R.

In: Evolution, 2014, vol. 68, no. 9, p. 2494–2508

Explaining the strong variation in lifespan among organisms remains a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Whereas previous work has concentrated mainly on differences in selection regimes and selection pressures, we hypothesize that differences in genetic drift may explain some of this variation. We develop a model to formalize this idea and show that the strong positive relationship between...