Sexual selection, harvesting and eco-evolutionary feedbacks of wild populations
By Fanie Pelletier.
In large herbivores, males with large antlers or horns typically have higher mating success. Thus, sexual selection in these species is believed to have favored large sexual secondary characteristics in males. Trophy hunting however targets the same characters that are favored by natural selection. Today, I will present research on two populations of bighorn sheep in Alberta, Canada: Sheep River and Ram Mountain. Both populations have been intensively monitored by following individually marked animals from birth to death for more than 3 decades. I will first discuss how natural selection shapes the evolution of male life history traits in this species and then explore the undesirable effect of artificial selection. At Ram Mountain trophy hunting is believed to have resulted in rapid evolutionary change in horn size and body mass related to low genetic variability and artificial removal of desirable genetic traits. I will also discuss the possible consequences of such rapid evolutionary changes for population dynamics and other ecological processes.
The CEES seminar room has a coffee-machine – it is therefore recommended that you come a bit earlier and get yourself a good cup of coffee (for the price of 3 NOK).