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Model-Based Estimates of Annual Survival Rate Are Preferable to Observed Maximum Lifespan Statistics for Use in Comparative Life-History Studies

David G. Krementz, John R. Sauer and James D. Nichols
Oikos
Vol. 56, No. 2 (Oct., 1989), pp. 203-208
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3565337
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3565337
Page Count: 6
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Model-Based Estimates of Annual Survival Rate Are Preferable to Observed Maximum Lifespan Statistics for Use in Comparative Life-History Studies
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Abstract

Estimates of longevity are available for many animals, and are commonly used in comparative life-history analyses. We suggest that annual survival rate is a more appropriate life history parameter for most comparative life history analyses. Observed maximum lifespans estimate complicated functions of survival and sampling probabilities. Annual survival rate estimates derived from modern band-recovery statistical procedures are becoming available for a variety of organisms. We compiled annual survival rate estimates and observed maximum longevities derived from band recovery data for North American waterfowl. Observed maximum longevities were not correlated with the annual survival rate estimates and appear to be unstable over time. We recommend that observed maximum lifespans not be used in life history analyses.

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