A geographic gradient in small rodent density fluctuations: a statistical modelling approach

Ottar N. Bjornstad, W. Falck, N. Stenseth Chr.

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The patterns of density dependence in Fennoscandian rodents are investigated statistically using a linear autoregressive scheme. Nineteen time series of microtine abundances along a latitudinal gradient in Fennoscandia from 60°N to 69°N are analysed. We provide statistical evidence that there exists a latitudinal gradient in density dependence in Fennoscandian microtines. Southern populations experience significantly stronger direct density dependence than northern populations. Delayed density dependence was significantly negative throughout the region and appeared constant across the latitudinal gradient. The populations consistently exhibit dynamics of second order throughout the region. Together, the clinal direct density dependence and constant delayed density dependence give rise to a dine in cycle period from 3 to 4.5 years. The statistical results are compared to assumptions and predictions made in previous studies on the geographic gradient in the population dynamics of these rodents. The results are in agreement with the predictions of the 'generalist predator hypothesis'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1364
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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