Publications by authors named "Eric Baubet"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

How does increasing mast seeding frequency affect population dynamics of seed consumers? Wild boar as a case study.

Ecol Appl 2020 09 21;30(6):e02134. Epub 2020 May 21.

Department of Biology, Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, 7491, Norway.

Mast seeding in temperate oak populations shapes the dynamics of seed consumers and numerous communities. Mast seeding responds positively to warm spring temperatures and is therefore expected to increase under global warming. We investigated the potential effects of changes in oak mast seeding on wild boar population dynamics, a widespread and abundant consumer species. Using long-term monitoring data, we showed that abundant acorn production enhances the proportion of breeding females. With a body-mass-structured population model and a fixed hunting rate of 0.424, we showed that high acorn production over time would lead to an average wild boar population growth rate of 1.197 whereas non-acorn production would lead to a stable population. Finally, using climate projections and a mechanistic model linking weather data to oak reproduction, we predicted that mast seeding frequency might increase over the next century, which would lead to increase in both wild boar population size and the magnitude of its temporal variation. Our study provides rare evidence that some species could greatly benefit from global warming thanks to higher food availability and therefore highlights the importance of investigating the cascading effects of changing weather conditions on the dynamics of wild animal populations to reliably assess the effects of climate change.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eap.2134DOI Listing
September 2020

Grow fast at no cost: no evidence for a mortality cost for fast early-life growth in a hunted wild boar population.

Oecologia 2020 Apr 2;192(4):999-1012. Epub 2020 Apr 2.

Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics, Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491, Trondheim, Norway.

From current theories on life-history evolution, fast early-life growth to reach early reproduction in heavily hunted populations should be favored despite the possible occurrence of mortality costs later on. However, fast growth may also be associated with better individual quality and thereby lower mortality, obscuring a clear trade-off between early-life growth and survival. Moreover, fast early-life growth can be associated with sex-specific mortality costs related to resource acquisition and allocation throughout an individual's lifetime. In this study, we explore how individual growth early in life affects age-specific mortality of both sexes in a heavily hunted population. Using longitudinal data from an intensively hunted population of wild boar (Sus scrofa), and capture-mark-recapture-recovery models, we first estimated age-specific overall mortality and expressed it as a function of early-life growth rate. Overall mortality models showed that faster-growing males experienced lower mortality at all ages. Female overall mortality was not strongly related to early-life growth rate. We then split overall mortality into its two components (i.e., non-hunting mortality vs. hunting mortality) to explore the relationship between growth early in life and mortality from each cause. Faster-growing males experienced lower non-hunting mortality as subadults and lower hunting mortality marginal on age. Females of all age classes did not display a strong association between their early-life growth rate and either mortality type. Our study does not provide evidence for a clear trade-off between early-life growth and mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-020-04633-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7165149PMC
April 2020

Should I stay or should I go? Determinants of immediate and delayed movement responses of female red deer (Cervus elaphus) to drive hunts.

PLoS One 2020 9;15(3):e0228865. Epub 2020 Mar 9.

Direction de la Recherche et de l'Appui Scientifique-Unité Ongulés Sauvages, Office Français de la Biodiversité, Birieux, France.

Hunting can be used as a tool for wildlife management, through limitation of population densities and dissuading game from using sensitive areas. The success of these approaches requires in depth knowledge of prey movement. Indeed, movement decisions of game during hunting may affect the killing success of hunters as well as the subsequent location of surviving animals. We thus investigated red deer movement responses to drive hunts and their causal factors. We studied 34 hunting events in the National Estate of Chambord (France) and thereby provided a fine-scale characterization of the immediate and delayed movement responses of red deer to drive hunts. Red deer responded to drive hunts either by immediately fleeing the hunted area, or by initially remaining before ultimately fleeing after the hunters had departed. A few hours after the hunt, all individuals were located in distant areas (> 2 kilometres) from the hunted area. Immediate flight responses were less common when drive hunts occurred in areas with dense understorey. However, neither beater/dog densities nor site familiarity influenced the immediate flight decision. Following a drive hunt, red deer remained outside the hunted areas for periods twice as long compared to periods when no hunting occurred (34 hours vs. 17 hours). Such knowledge of game movement rates in response to drive hunts may help the development of informed management policy for hunted red deer populations.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0228865PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7062277PMC
June 2020

Assessment of the impact of forestry and leisure activities on wild boar spatial disturbance with a potential application to ASF risk of spread.

Transbound Emerg Dis 2020 May 21;67(3):1164-1176. Epub 2019 Dec 21.

Research Unit for Epidemiology and Risk Analysis applied to veterinary sciences (UREAR-ULg), Centre of Fundamental and Applied Research for Animals and Health (FARAH), University of Liège, Liège, Belgium.

In Europe, African swine fever virus (ASFV) is one of the most threatening infectious transboundary diseases of domestic pigs and wild boar. In September 2018, ASF was detected in wild boar in the South of Belgium. France, as a bordering country, is extremely concerned about the ASF situation in Belgium, and an active preparedness is ongoing in the country. One of the questions raised by this situation relates to disturbing activities that may affect wild boar movements and their possible impact on the spread of ASFV. Despite evidence of disturbance related to hunting practices, there is a paucity of information on the impact of forestry and human leisure activities. To assess this impact on wild boar movements, a systematic review was first conducted but very few useful data were obtained. For this reason, an expert elicitation was carried out by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety in order to deal with this knowledge gap. A total of 30 experts originating from France and adjacent neighbouring countries (Spain, Belgium and Switzerland) were elicited about the relative importance of six factors of spatial disturbance of wild boar (noise, smell, invasion of space, modification of the environment, duration and frequency of the activity). Then, for each factor of disturbance, they were asked about the impact of 16 different commercial forestry and human leisure activities. A global weighted score was estimated in order to capture the variability of a wide range of territorial conditions and the uncertainty of expert elicitation. This estimate permitted ranking all 16 activities and aggregating them in three groups according to their potential for disturbance of wild boar, using a regression tree analysis. The results of this expert elicitation provide a methodological approach that may be useful for French and other European decision makers and stakeholders involved in the crisis management of ASF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tbed.13447DOI Listing
May 2020

Many, large and early: Hunting pressure on wild boar relates to simple metrics of hunting effort.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Jan 3;698:134251. Epub 2019 Sep 3.

Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune sauvage, DRE-Unité Ongulés Sauvages, Monfort 01330, Birieux, France. Electronic address:

Wild boar populations have increased dramatically over the last decades throughout Europe and in France in particular. While hunting is considered the most efficient way to control game populations, many local conflicts persist after the hunting period due to remaining high densities of wild boar despite the large number of animals culled every year. Therefore, increasing the efficiency of hunting is a timely issue. Herein, we assessed how hunting effort can be measured, and we determined whether the hunting effort carried out by hunters explains the observed hunting pressure. We measured the characteristics and results of all hunts that occurred in the experimental forest of Châteauvillain-Arc-en-Barrois (Northeastern France), and we modelled the number of animals culled as a function of the hunting effort, measured by the number of beaters, hunters, and dogs, as well as the size of the hunting area. We also accounted for variables suspected to affect the hunting efficiency achieved with a given effort, such as time of day (AM/PM), the month during which hunting occurred. We found that more posted hunters, larger hunted areas, and hunts carried out early in the season, i.e. before February, increased the number of culled animals. Our model can be used by wildlife managers to adjust hunting effort in order to reach the hunting pressure expected to meet management objectives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134251DOI Listing
January 2020

Reproductive allocation in pulsed-resource environments: a comparative study in two populations of wild boar.

Oecologia 2017 04 3;183(4):1065-1076. Epub 2017 Feb 3.

Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Évolutive, CNRS UMR 5558, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, 69622, Villeurbanne, France.

Pulsed resources influence the demography and evolution of consumer populations and, by cascading effect, the dynamics of the entire community. Mast seeding provides a case study for exploring the evolution of life history traits of consumers in fluctuating environments. Wild boar (Sus scrofa) population dynamics is related to seed availability (acorns/beechnuts). From a long-term monitoring of two populations subjected to markedly different environmental contexts (i.e., both low vs. high frequency of pulsed resources and low vs. high hunting pressure in Italy and in France, respectively), we assessed how pulsed resources shape the reproductive output of females. Using path analyses, we showed that in both populations, abundant seed availability increases body mass and both the absolute and the relative (to body mass) allocation to reproduction through higher fertility. In the Italian population, females equally relied on past and current resources for reproduction and ranked at an intermediate position along the capital-income continuum of breeding tactics. In contrast, in the French population, females relied on current more than past resources and ranked closer to the income end of the continuum. In the French population, one-year old females born in acorn-mast years were heavier and had larger litter size than females born in beechnut-mast years. In addition to the quantity, the type of resources (acorns/beechnuts) has to be accounted for to assess reliably how females allocate resources to reproduction. Our findings highlight a high plasticity in breeding tactics in wild boar females and provide new insight on allocation strategies in fluctuating environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-017-3821-8DOI Listing
April 2017

On the evolutionary consequences of increasing litter size with multiple paternity in wild boar (Sus scrofa scrofa).

Evolution 2016 06 8;70(6):1386-97. Epub 2016 Jun 8.

Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage, Unité Cervidés Sangliers, Montfort F-01330, Birieux, France.

Understanding how some species may be able to evolve quickly enough to deal with anthropogenic pressure is of prime interest in evolutionary biology, conservation, and management. Wild boar (Sus scrofa scrofa) populations keep growing all over Europe despite increasing hunting pressure. In wild boar populations subject to male-selective harvesting, the initially described polygynous mating system may switch to a promiscuous/polyandrous one. Such a change in the mating system, where potentially more males sire a litter at one reproductive event, may be associated with the retention of high genetic diversity and an increase of litter size. We tested these hypotheses by estimating the number of sires per litter based on a six-year long monitoring of a wild boar population subject to particularly high harvesting pressure. Our results show a high and stable genetic diversity and high rates of multiple paternity compared to other populations, thus depicting a promiscuous/polyandrous mating system in this population. We also show that litter size is positively linked to the number of sires, suggesting that multiple paternity increases fecundity. We finally discuss that multiple paternity may be one of the factors allowing rapid evolution of this population by maintaining both genetic and phenotypic diversity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/evo.12949DOI Listing
June 2016

Wild boar populations up, numbers of hunters down? A review of trends and implications for Europe.

Pest Manag Sci 2015 Apr 29;71(4):492-500. Epub 2015 Jan 29.

National Wildlife Management Centre, Animal and Plant Health Agency, York, UK.

Across Europe, wild boar numbers increased in the 1960s-1970s but stabilised in the 1980s; recent evidence suggests that the numbers and impact of wild boar has grown steadily since the 1980s. As hunting is the main cause of mortality for this species, we reviewed wild boar hunting bags and hunter population trends in 18 European countries from 1982 to 2012. Hunting statistics and numbers of hunters were used as indicators of animal numbers and hunting pressure. The results confirmed that wild boar increased consistently throughout Europe, while the number of hunters remained relatively stable or declined in most countries. We conclude that recreational hunting is insufficient to limit wild boar population growth and that the relative impact of hunting on wild boar mortality had decreased. Other factors, such as mild winters, reforestation, intensification of crop production, supplementary feeding and compensatory population responses of wild boar to hunting pressure might also explain population growth. As populations continue to grow, more human-wild boar conflicts are expected unless this trend is reversed. New interdisciplinary approaches are urgently required to mitigate human-wild boar conflicts, which are otherwise destined to grow further.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ps.3965DOI Listing
April 2015

Influence of life-history tactics on transient dynamics: a comparative analysis across mammalian populations.

Am Nat 2014 Nov 9;184(5):673-83. Epub 2014 Oct 9.

Department of Biology, Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway.

Most mammalian populations suffer from natural or human-induced disturbances; populations are no longer at the equilibrium (i.e., at stable [st]age distribution) and exhibit transient dynamics. From a literature survey, we studied patterns of transient dynamics for mammalian species spanning a large range of life-history tactics and population growth rates. For each population, we built an age-structured matrix and calculated six metrics of transient dynamics. After controlling for possible confounding effects of the phylogenetic relatedness among species using a phylogenetic principal component analysis and phylogenetic generalized least squares models, we found that short-term demographic responses of mammalian populations to disturbance are shaped by generation time and growth rate. Species with a slow pace of life (i.e., species with a late maturity, a low fecundity, and a long life span) displayed decreases in population size after a disturbance, whereas fast-living species increased in population size. The magnitude of short-term variation in population size increased with asymptotic population growth, being buffered in slow-growing species (i.e., species with a low population growth rate) but large in fast-growing species. By demonstrating direct links between transient dynamics, life history (generation time), and ecology (demographic regime), our comparative analysis of transient dynamics clearly improves our understanding of population dynamics in variable environments and has clear implications for future studies of the interplay between evolutionary and ecological dynamics. As most populations in the wild are not at equilibrium, we recommend that analyses of transient dynamics be performed when studying population dynamics in variable environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/677929DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6693489PMC
November 2014

Do age-specific survival patterns of wild boar fit current evolutionary theories of senescence?

Evolution 2014 Dec 30;68(12):3636-43. Epub 2014 Sep 30.

Department of Biology, Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491, Trondheim, Norway.

Actuarial senescence is widespread in age-structured populations. In growing populations, the progressive decline of Hamiltonian forces of selection with age leads to decreasing survival. As actuarial senescence is overcompensated by a high fertility, actuarial senescence should be more intense in species with high reproductive effort, a theoretical prediction that has not been yet explicitly tested across species. Wild boar (Sus scrofa) females have an unusual life-history strategy among large mammals by associating both early and high reproductive effort with potentially long lifespan. Therefore, wild boar females should show stronger actuarial senescence than similar-sized related mammals. Moreover, being polygynous and much larger than females, males should display higher senescence rates than females. Using a long-term monitoring (18 years) of a wild boar population, we tested these predictions. We provided clear evidence of actuarial senescence in both sexes. Wild boar females had earlier but not stronger actuarial senescence than similar-sized ungulates. Both sexes displayed similar senescence rates. Our study indicates that the timing of senescence, not the rate, is associated with the magnitude of fertility in ungulates. This demonstrates the importance of including the timing of senescence in addition to its rate to understand variation in senescence patterns in wild populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/evo.12519DOI Listing
December 2014

Fluctuating food resources influence developmental plasticity in wild boar.

Biol Lett 2013 Oct 31;9(5):20130419. Epub 2013 Jul 31.

UMR 5558, Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive, Université de Lyon, 69000 Lyon, France.

To maximize long-term average reproductive success, individuals can diversify the phenotypes of offspring produced within a reproductive event by displaying the 'coin-flipping' tactic. Wild boar (Sus scrofa scrofa) females have been reported to adopt this tactic. However, whether the magnitude of developmental plasticity within a litter depends on stochasticity in food resources has not been yet investigated. From long-term monitoring, we found that juvenile females produced similar-sized fetuses within a litter independent of food availability. By contrast, adult females adjusted their relative allocation to littermates to the amount of food resources, by providing a similar allocation to all littermates in years of poor food resources but producing highly diversified offspring phenotypes within a litter in years of abundant food resources. By minimizing sibling rivalry, such a plastic reproductive tactic allows adult wild boar females to maximize the number of littermates for a given breeding event.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2013.0419DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3971679PMC
October 2013

The relationship between phenotypic variation among offspring and mother body mass in wild boar: evidence of coin-flipping?

J Anim Ecol 2013 Sep 15;82(5):937-45. Epub 2013 Mar 15.

Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive, UMR 5558, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon 1, F-69622, Villeurbanne, France; Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage, 2 Bis Rue des Religieuses, BP 1952120, Châteauvillain, France; UMR 5175, Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, campus CNRS, 1919 route de Mende, 34293, Montpellier Cedex 5, France.

1. In highly variable environments, the optimal reproductive tactics of iteroparous organisms should minimize variance in yearly reproductive success to maximize the long-term average reproductive success. To minimize among-year variation in reproductive success, individuals can either minimize the variance in the number of offspring produced at each reproductive attempt (classical bet-hedging) or maximize the phenotypic diversity of offspring produced within or among reproductive attempts (coin-flipping). 2. From a long-term detailed study of an intensively exploited population facing a highly unpredictable environment, we identify a continuum of reproductive tactics in wild boar females depending on their body mass. 3. At one end, light females adjusted litter size to their body mass and produced highly similar-sized offspring within a litter. These females fitted the hypothesis of individual optimization commonly reported in warm-blooded species, which involves both an optimal mass and an optimal number of offspring for a given mother. At the other end of the continuum, heavy females produced litters of variable size including a mixture of heavy and light offspring within litters. 4. Prolific heavy wild boar females diversify the phenotype of their offspring, providing a first evidence for coin-flipping in a warm-blooded species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12073DOI Listing
September 2013

Predator-prey spatial game as a tool to understand the effects of protected areas on harvester-wildlife interactions.

Ecol Appl 2012 Mar;22(2):648-57

Laboratoire d'Ecologie Alpine CNRS UMR5553, Université de Savoie, Bâtiment Belledonne, F-73376 Le Bourget-du-Lac, France.

No-take reserves are sometimes implemented for sustainable population harvesting because they offer opportunities for animals to spatially avoid harvesters, whereas harvesters can benefit in return from the reserve spillover. Here, we used the framework of predator-prey spatial games to understand how protected areas shape spatial interactions between harvesters and target species and determine animal mortality. In these spatial games, the "predator" searches for "prey" and matches their habitat use, unless it meets spatial constraints offering the opportunity for prey to avoid the mortality source. However, such prey refuges could attract predators in the surroundings, which questions the potential benefits for prey. We located, in the Geneva Basin (France), hunting dogs and wild boar Sus scrofa L. during hunting seasons with global positioning systems and very-high-frequency collars. We quantified how the proximity of the reserve shaped the matching between both habitat uses using multivariate analyses and linked these patterns to animals' mortality with a Cox regression analysis. Results showed that habitat uses by both protagonists disassociated only when hunters were spatially constrained by the reserve. In response, hunters increased hunting efforts near the reserve boundary, which induced a higher risk exposure for animals settled over the reserve. The mortality of adult wild boar decreased near the reserve as the mismatch between both habitat uses increased. However the opposite pattern was determined for younger individuals that suffered from the high level of hunting close to the reserve. The predator-prey analogy was an accurate prediction of how the protected area modified spatial relationships between harvesters and target species. Prey-searching strategies adopted by hunters around reserves strongly impacted animal mortality and the efficiency of the protected area for this harvested species. Increasing reserve sizes and/or implementing buffer areas with harvesting limitations can dampen this edge effect and helps harvesters to benefit durably from source populations of reserves. Predator-prey spatial games therefore provide a powerful theoretical background for understanding wildlife-harvester spatial interactions and developing substantial application for sustainable harvesting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/11-0422.1DOI Listing
March 2012

High hunting pressure selects for earlier birth date: wild boar as a case study.

Evolution 2011 Nov 4;65(11):3100-12. Epub 2011 Jul 4.

Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, Unité Mixte de Recherche 5175, campus CNRS, 1919 route de Mende, Montpellier Cedex 5, France.

Exploitation by humans affects the size and structure of populations. This has evolutionary and demographic consequences that have typically being studied independent of one another. We here applied a framework recently developed applying quantitative tools from population ecology and selection gradient analysis to quantify the selection on a quantitative trait-birth date-through its association with multiple fitness components. From the long-term monitoring (22 years) of a wild boar (Sus scrofa scrofa) population subject to markedly increasing hunting pressure, we found that birth dates have advanced by up to 12 days throughout the study period. During the period of low hunting pressure, there was no detectable selection. However, during the period of high hunting pressure, the selection gradient linking breeding probability in the first year of life to birth date was negative, supporting current life-history theory predicting selection for early births to reproduce within the first year of life with increasing adult mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01366.xDOI Listing
November 2011

Assessing whether mortality is additive using marked animals: a Bayesian state-space modeling approach.

Ecology 2010 Jul;91(7):1916-23

Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, Campus CNRS, UMR 5175, 1919 Route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.

Whether different sources of mortality are additive, compensatory, or depensatory is a key question in population biology. A way to test for additivity is to calculate the correlation between cause-specific mortality rates obtained from marked animals. However, existing methods to estimate this correlation raise several methodological issues. One difficulty is the existence of an intrinsic bias in the correlation parameter. Although this bias can be formally expressed, it requires knowledge about natural survival without any competing mortality source, which is difficult to assess in most cases. Another difficulty lies in estimating the true process correlation while properly accounting for sampling variation. Using a Bayesian approach, we developed a state-space model to assess the correlation between two competing sources of mortality. By distinguishing the mortality process from its observation through dead recoveries and live recaptures, we estimated the process correlation. To correct for the intrinsic bias, we incorporated experts' opinions on natural survival. We illustrated our approach using data on a hunted population of wild boars. Mortalities were not additive and natural mortality increased with hunting mortality likely as a consequence of non-controlled mortality by crippling loss. Our method opens perspectives for wildlife management and for the conservation of endangered species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/09-1931.1DOI Listing
July 2010

Pulsed resources and climate-induced variation in the reproductive traits of wild boar under high hunting pressure.

J Anim Ecol 2009 Nov 22;78(6):1278-90. Epub 2009 Jun 22.

Université de Lyon, Lyon, France.

1. Identifying which factors influence age and size at maturity is crucial for a better understanding of the evolution of life-history strategies. In particular, populations intensively harvested, hunted or fished by humans often respond by displaying earlier age and decreased size at first reproduction. 2. Among ungulates wild boar (Sus scrofa scrofa L.) exhibit uncommon life-history traits, such as high fertility and early reproduction, which might increase the demographic impact of varying age at first reproduction. We analysed variation in female reproductive output from a 22-year long study of an intensively hunted population. We assessed how the breeding probability and the onset of oestrus responded to changes of female body mass at different ages under varying conditions of climate and food availability. 3. Wild boar females had to reach a threshold body mass (27-33 kg) before breeding for the first time. This threshold mass was relatively low (33-41% of adult body mass) compared to that reported in most other ungulates (about 80%). 4. Proportions of females breeding peaked when rainfall and temperature were low in spring and high in summer. Climatic conditions might act through the nutritional condition of females. The onset of oestrus varied a lot in relation to resources available at both current and previous years. Between none and up to 90% of females were in oestrus in November depending on the year. 5. Past and current resources accounted for equivalent amount of observed variations in proportions of females breeding. Thus, wild boar rank at an intermediate position along the capital-income continuum rather than close to the capital end where similar-sized ungulates rank. 6. Juvenile females made a major contribution to the yearly reproductive output. Comparisons among wild boar populations facing contrasted hunting pressures indicate that a high demographic contribution of juveniles is a likely consequence of a high hunting pressure rather than a species-specific life-history pattern characterizing wild boar.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2656.2009.01579.xDOI Listing
November 2009