Synchrony, scale and temporal dynamics of rock partridge (Alectoris graeca saxatilis) populations in the Dolomites

Isabella M. Cattadori, Peter J. Hudson, Stefano Merler, Annapaola Rizzoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


1. Harvesting records of rock partridge (Alectoris graeca saxatilis) were examined first to identify the presence of cycles in a species with a southern European distribution and then to examine synchrony between populations at a range of scales. 2. Hunting records from 1965 to 1994 were obtained from 210 hunting areas and analysed at three spatial scales: subpopulation, population and metapopulation. Rock partridge exhibited cyclic fluctuations in about 40% of the time series with a period of 4-7 years. The results did not change with spatial scale. The density-dependent structure of the populations showed that most populations exhibited damped oscillations. 3. The proportion of populations that were in synchrony increased with scale from the population to metapopulation level. There was no decline in synchrony with distance but a large variation between populations irrespective of distance. 4. The populations clustered into dry and wet habitats, with those in the dry habitat being more cyclic. We suggest the lack of spatial synchrony with distance but greater synchrony within habitats may reflect the influence of stochastic events operating on populations with different density dependence structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)540-549
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Animal Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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