4 years ago

Harvesting as a potential selective pressure on behavioural traits

Fanie Pelletier, Andreas Zedrosser, Martin Leclerc
Human activities are a major evolutionary force affecting wild populations. Selective pressure from harvest has mainly been documented for life-history and morphological traits. The probability for an individual to be harvested, however, may also depend on its behaviour. We report empirical studies that examined whether harvesting can exert selective pressures on behavioural traits. We show that harvest-induced selection on behavioural traits is not specific to a particular harvest method and can occur throughout the animal kingdom. Synthesis and applications. Managers need to recognize that artificial selection caused by harvesting is possible. More empirical studies integrating physiological, behavioural, and life-history traits should be carried out to test specific predictions of the potential for harvest-induced selection on heritable traits using models developed in fisheries. To limit selective pressure on behaviour imposed by harvesting, managers could reduce harvest quotas or vary harvest regulations over time and/or space to reduce the strength of selection on a particular phenotype.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12893

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