Trait–demography relationships underlying small mammal population fluctuations
Summary Large‐scale fluctuations in abundance are a common feature of small mammal populations and have been the subject of extensive research. These demographic fluctuations are often associated with concurrent changes in the average body mass of individuals, sometimes referred to as the ‘Chitty effect’. Despite the long‐standing recognition of this phenomenon, an empirical investigation of the underlying coupled dynamics of body mass and population growth has been lacking.Using long‐term life‐history data combined with a trait‐based demographic approach, we examined the relationship between body mass and demography in a small mammal population that exhibits non‐cyclic, large‐scale fluctuations in abundance. We used data from the male segment of a 25‐year study of the monogamous prairie vole, Microtus ochrogaster , in Illinois, USA. Specifically, we investigated how trait–demography relationships and trait distributions changed between different phases of population fluctuations, and the consequences of these changes for both trait and population dynamics.We observed phase‐specific changes in male adult body mass distribution in this population of prairie voles. Our analyses revealed that these changes were driven by variation in ontogenetic growth, rather than selection acting on the trait. The resulting changes in body mass influenced most life‐history processes, and these effects varied among phases of population fluctuation. However, these changes did not propagate to affect the population growth rate due to the small effect of body mass on vital rates, compared to the overall differences in vital rates between phases. The increase phase of the fluctuations was initiated by enhanced survival, particularly of juveniles and fecundity, whereas the decline phase was driven by an overall reduction in fecundity, survival and maturation rates.Our study provides empirical support, as well as a potential mechanism, underlying the observed trait changes accompanying population fluctuations. Body size dynamics and population fluctuations resulted from different life‐history processes. Therefore, we conclude that body size dynamics in our population do not drive the observed population dynamics. This more in‐depth understanding of different components of small mammal population fluctuations will help us to better identify the mechanistic drivers of this interesting phenomenon.
- 원문이 없습니다.
유료 다운로드의 경우 해당 사이트의 정책에 따라 신규 회원가입, 로그인, 유료 구매 등이 필요할 수 있습니다. 해당 사이트에서 발생하는 귀하의 모든 정보활동은 NDSL의 서비스 정책과 무관합니다.
원문복사신청을 하시면, 일부 해외 인쇄학술지의 경우 외국학술지지원센터(FRIC)에서
무료 원문복사 서비스를 제공합니다.
NDSL에서는 해당 원문을 복사서비스하고 있습니다. 위의 원문복사신청 또는 장바구니 담기를 통하여 원문복사서비스 이용이 가능합니다.
- 이 논문과 함께 출판된 논문 + 더보기