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Does mast seeding shape mating time in wild boar? A comparative study

Citation

Cachelou, Jessica et al. (2022), Does mast seeding shape mating time in wild boar? A comparative study, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.zs7h44jck

Abstract

In seasonal environments, the timing of reproduction often matches with the peak of food resources. One well-known effect of global warming is an earlier phenology of resources, leading to a possible mismatch between timing of reproduction for consumers and food peak. However, global warming may also change the dynamics of food resources, such as the intensity and frequency of pulsed mast seeding. How quantitative changes in mast seeding influence the timing of reproduction of seed consumers remains unexplored. Here, we assess how yearly variation in mast seeding influences mating time in wild boar (Sus scrofa), a widespread seed consumer species. We took advantage of the intensive monitoring of both female reproduction (1,636 females) and acorn production over 6 consecutive years across 15 populations of wild boar in the wild. We found that mating time occurs earlier when acorn production increases in most but not all populations. In three out of fifteen populations, heavy females mated earlier than light ones. Our findings demonstrate that mast seeding does shape mating time in wild boar females, but differently across populations. This high plasticity of mating times in wild boar indicates that females locally adapt to environmental conditions.

Funding

Research Council of Norway, Award: Project Number 223257