Solar Irradiance, Survival and Longevity in a Pre-industrial Human Population
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Severe environmental irregularities, such as droughts or storms that can cause massive crop failure and famine, have repeatedly taken their toll on human populations. Although more subtle climatic variations can also have considerable effects on ecological processes (Stenseth et al.2002), humans have generally been assumed to be sheltered from these influences. Young children, however, can be very sensitive to seasonal and regional variations in weather conditions and food availability, even outside periods of massive famine (Lummaa and Clutton–Brock 2002). In pre-industrial populations, infant mortality was commonly high; it was not rare that 20–30 % of newborns died annually before reaching the age of 1. The conditions experienced around birth may also have long lasting consequences on adult life-history (Lummaa and Clutton-Brock 2002). For instance, environmental effects experienced at young age, such as the one associated with the month of birth, have been shown to...
KeywordsSolar Irradiance Generalize Additive Model Generalize Little Square Infant Survival High Solar Irradiance
We thank T. Coulson, J. Lane, D. Garant and M. Festa-Bianchet for commenting earlier versions of this manuscript. This project was funded by the Fonds Québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies (postdoctoral fellowship to P.B.), by the Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Ecology (D.R.) and by the Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary Demography and Conservation (F.P.). Since 1986, the Register was computerized and updated by F.M.M., M.B., Yolande Lavoie, and Pierre Philippe, successively with the financial support of the Université de Montréal, the Fonds pour la Formation de Chercheurs et l’Aide à la Recherche du Québec, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
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