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Impact of wild boar (Sus scrofa) in its introduced and native range: a review

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Abstract

Wild boar are now present on all continents except Antarctica and can greatly affect community structure and ecosystem function. Their destructive feeding habits, primarily rooting disturbance, can reduce plant cover, diversity, and regeneration. Furthermore, predation and habitat destruction by boar can greatly affect animal communities. Effects of wild boar on fungi and aquatic communities are scarcely studied, and soil properties and processes seem more resistant to disturbance. Wild boar also affect humans’ economy as they cause crop damage and transmit diseases to livestock and wildlife. In this review, we found that most of the published literature examines boar effects in their introduced range and little is available from the native distribution. Because most of the research describes direct effects of wild boar on plant communities and predation on some animal communities, less is known about indirect effects on ecosystem function. Finally, predictive research and information on ecosystem recovery after wild boar removal are scarce. We identified research gaps and urge the need to lower wild boar densities. Identifying commonalities among wild boar impacts on native ecosystems across its introduced range will help in the design of management strategies.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank Mariano Rodriguez-Cabal, Sara Kuebbing, Martin A. Nuñez, Daniel Simberloff, and two anonymous reviewers for thoughtful comments on previous versions of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to M. Noelia Barrios-Garcia.

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Barrios-Garcia, M.N., Ballari, S.A. Impact of wild boar (Sus scrofa) in its introduced and native range: a review. Biol Invasions 14, 2283–2300 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-012-0229-6

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