Offspring of older parents are smaller-but no less bilaterally symmetrical-than offspring of younger parents in the aquatic plant Lemna turionifera
Ankutowicz, Eric J.
Laird, Robert A.
Offspring quality decreases with parental age in many taxa, with offspring of older parents exhibiting reduced life span, reproductive capacity, and fitness, compared to offspring of younger parents. These “parental age effects,” whose consequences arise in the next generation, can be considered as manifestations of parental senescence, in addition to the more familiar age- related declines in parent- generation survival and reproduction. Parental age effects are important because they may have feedback effects on the evolution of demographic trajectories and longevity. In addition to altering the timing of offspring life-history milestones, parental age effects can also have a negative impact on offspring size, with offspring of older parents being smaller than offspring of younger parents. Here, we consider the effects of advancing parental age on a different aspect of offspring morphology, body symmetry. In this study, we followed all 403 offspring of 30 parents of a bilaterally symmetrical, clonally reproducing aquatic plant species, Lemna turionifera, to test the hypothesis that successive offspring become less symmetrical as their parent ages, using the “Continuous Symmetry Measure” as an index. Although successive offspring of aging parents older than one week became smaller and smaller, we found scant evidence for any reduction in bilateral symmetry
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Aging , Araceae , Asymmetry , Lemnoideae , Mirror image , Shape analysis , Parental age effects , Lemna turionifera , Offspring , Body symmetry
Ankutowicz, E.J., & Laird, R.A. (2018). Offspring of older parents are smaller-but no less bilaterally symetrical-than offspring of younger parents in the aquatic plant Lemna turionifera. Ecology and Evolution, 8, 2018. doi:10.1002/ece3.3697