Mortality rates decelerate at older ages in experimental populations of Drosophila. It is unclear whether this reflects a real slow-down in the aging process, or an artifact of declining density. Mortality was studied in age-synchronized cohorts of four inbred lines at three initial densities that varied 10-fold. A total of 70,000 flies of both sexes were studied. There were large line X density, line, and sex effects, but no systematic relationship between density and life span was detected. Mortality curves level off at older ages in 23 out of 24 sex-genotype combinations, irrespective of initial cohort density. Density has only second-order effects on the pattern of oldest-old mortality over the range of densities studied here. The dramatic departure from Gompertz-type mortality dynamics at older ages is not an artifact of declining density in Drosophila.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences|
|State||Published - Sep 1995|