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Keywords:

  • Birth timing;
  • elastogram;
  • exploited populations;
  • population dynamics;
  • selection gradient analyses;
  • Sus scrofa scrofa

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.