Data from: On the evolutionary consequences of increasing litter size with multiple paternity in wild boar (Sus scrofa scrofa)
Gayet, Thibault et al. (2016), Data from: On the evolutionary consequences of increasing litter size with multiple paternity in wild boar (Sus scrofa scrofa), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.ps4m1
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 6-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.