Skip navigation
Skip navigation

Life-history change in disease-ravaged Tasmanian devil populations

Jones, Menna E; Cockburn, Andrew; Hamede, Rodrigo; Hawkins, Clare; Hesterman, Heather; Lachish, Shelly; Mann, Diana; McCallum, Hamish; Pemberton, David

Description

Changes in life history are expected when new sources of extrinsic mortality impact on natural populations. We report a new disease, devil facial tumor disease, causing an abrupt transition from iteroparity toward single breeding in the largest extant carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), in which males can weigh as much as 14 kg and females 9 kg. This change in life history is associated with almost complete mortality of individuals from this infectious cancer past...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorJones, Menna E
dc.contributor.authorCockburn, Andrew
dc.contributor.authorHamede, Rodrigo
dc.contributor.authorHawkins, Clare
dc.contributor.authorHesterman, Heather
dc.contributor.authorLachish, Shelly
dc.contributor.authorMann, Diana
dc.contributor.authorMcCallum, Hamish
dc.contributor.authorPemberton, David
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T22:30:36Z
dc.identifier.issn0027-8424
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/55166
dc.description.abstractChanges in life history are expected when new sources of extrinsic mortality impact on natural populations. We report a new disease, devil facial tumor disease, causing an abrupt transition from iteroparity toward single breeding in the largest extant carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), in which males can weigh as much as 14 kg and females 9 kg. This change in life history is associated with almost complete mortality of individuals from this infectious cancer past their first year of adult life. Devils have shown their capacity to respond to this disease-induced increased adult mortality with a 16-fold increase in the proportion of individuals exhibiting precocious sexual maturity. These patterns are documented in five populations where there are data from before and after disease arrival and subsequent population impacts. To our knowledge, this is the first known case of infectious disease leading to increased early reproduction in a mammal. The persistence of both this disease and the associated life-history changes pose questions about longer-term evolutionary responses and conservation prospects for this iconic species.
dc.publisherNational Academy of Sciences (USA)
dc.rights© 2008 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA
dc.sourcePNAS - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
dc.subjectKeywords: animal disease; animal experiment; animal model; article; breeding; carnivore; face tumor; female; life history; male; mammal; marsupial; mortality; nonhuman; priority journal; reproduction; sarcophilus harrisii; sexual maturity; Adaptation, Physiological Carnivorous marsupial; Infectious cancer; Precocious breeding; Semelparity; Wildlife disease
dc.titleLife-history change in disease-ravaged Tasmanian devil populations
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume105
dc.date.issued2008
local.identifier.absfor060201 - Behavioural Ecology
local.identifier.ariespublicationu9511635xPUB320
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationJones, Menna E, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationCockburn, Andrew, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationHamede, Rodrigo, University of Tasmania
local.contributor.affiliationHawkins, Clare, University of Tasmania
local.contributor.affiliationHesterman, Heather, University of Tasmania
local.contributor.affiliationLachish, Shelly, University of Queensland
local.contributor.affiliationMann, Diana, TAS Department of Primary Industries Water and Environment
local.contributor.affiliationMcCallum, Hamish, University of Tasmania
local.contributor.affiliationPemberton, David, TAS Department of Primary Industries and Water
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue29
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage10023
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage10027
local.identifier.doi10.1073/pnas.0711236105
dc.date.updated2015-12-09T10:03:17Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-48249132410
local.identifier.thomsonID000257913200033
CollectionsANU Research Publications

Download

File Description SizeFormat Image
01_Jones_Life-history_change_in_2008.pdf707.14 kBAdobe PDF    Request a copy


Items in Open Research are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

Updated:  19 May 2020/ Responsible Officer:  University Librarian/ Page Contact:  Library Systems & Web Coordinator