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

Abstract : Abstract 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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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03224226
Contributor : Marlène Gamelon <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 2:51:27 PM
Last modification on : Monday, August 9, 2021 - 11:06:03 AM

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Lara Veylit, Bernt-Erik Sæther, Jean-Michel Gaillard, Eric Baubet, Marlène Gamelon. Grow fast at no cost: no evidence for a mortality cost for fast early-life growth in a hunted wild boar population. Oecologia, Springer Verlag, 2020, 192 (4), pp.999-1012. ⟨10.1007/s00442-020-04633-9⟩. ⟨hal-03224226⟩

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