TITLE

Long-term pattern of population dynamics in the field vole from central Europe: cyclic pattern with amplitude dampening

AUTHOR(S)
Gouveia, Ana; Bejček, Vladimír; Flousek, Jiří; Sedláček, František; Šťastný, Karel; Zima, Jan; Yoccoz, Nigel; Stenseth, Nils; Tkadlec, Emil
PUB. DATE
October 2015
SOURCE
Population Ecology;Oct2015, Vol. 57 Issue 4, p581
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The subject of population cycles is regarded as controversial due to a number of unsettled questions such as whether or not cyclic patterns are governed by the same processes at high and low latitudes in Europe. Recent evidence suggests that the dynamics at high and low latitudes share the common temporal pattern of vole dynamics referred to as collapsing population cycles. Despite concurrent interest, the key contention around the causal mechanisms that drive population cycles remains a hot topic in ecology. The aims of this study are to supplement information on the seasonal population dynamics of the field vole Microtus agrestis in the Czech Republic by analysing 25 years of time series data. By applying robust estimation procedures, we estimated several parameters to describe population dynamics, such as population variability, amplitude dampening, cycle period, order of the dynamics and the structure of density dependence. The parameters indicate that field vole dynamics in central Europe are highly variable, cyclic dynamics of order two, with peaks in abundance occurring regularly at intervals of 4-5 years. In addition to exhibiting population cycles, the field vole populations show a pattern of dampened amplitude as observed elsewhere in Europe, including northern latitudes. By analysing temporal trends in seasonal abundances, population growth rates and environmental temperatures, we did not obtain evidence to support the hypothesis that amplitude dampening results from the negative effect of increasingly mild winters on winter population growth rates.
ACCESSION #
110569246

 

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