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The Astrophysical Journal


Integrated light from distant galaxies is often compared to stellar population models via the equivalent widths of spectral features—spectral indices—whose strengths rely on the abundances of one or more elements. Such comparisons hinge not only on the overall metal abundance, but also on relative abundances. Studies have examined the influence of individual elements on synthetic spectra but little has been done to address similar issues in the stellar evolution models that underlie most stellar population models. Stellar evolution models will primarily be influenced by changes in opacities. In order to explore this issue in detail, 12 sets of stellar evolution tracks and isochrones have been created at constant heavy element mass fraction Z that self-consistently account for varying heavy element mixtures. These sets include scaled-solar, α-enhanced, and individual cases where the elements C, N, O, Ne, Mg, Si, S, Ca, Ti, and Fe have been enhanced above their scaled-solar values. The variations that arise between scaled-solar and the other cases are examined with respect to the H-R diagram and main-sequence lifetimes.