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Bears are simply voles writ large: social structure determines the mechanisms of intrinsic population regulation in mammals

Odden , Morten ; Ims , Rolf A. ; Støen , Ole Gunnar ; Swenson , Jon E. ; Andreassen , Harry P.

Oecologia, 2014, Vol.175(1), pp.1-10 [Periódico revisado por pares]

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  • Título:
    Bears are simply voles writ large: social structure determines the mechanisms of intrinsic population regulation in mammals
  • Autor: Odden , Morten ; Ims , Rolf A. ; Støen , Ole Gunnar ; Swenson , Jon E. ; Andreassen , Harry P.
  • Assuntos: Social Structure ; Models ; Mammals ; Territoriality ; Breeding ; Population Growth ; Mortality ; Life History ; Microtus Oeconomus ; Body Size ; Females ; Ursus Arctos
  • É parte de: Oecologia, 2014, Vol.175(1), pp.1-10
  • Descrição: The literature reveals opposing views regarding the importance of intrinsic population regulation in mammals. Different models have been proposed; adding importance to contrasting life histories, body sizes and social interactions. Here we evaluate current theory based on results from two Scandinavian projects studying two ecologically different mammal species with contrasting body sizes and life history traits: the root vole Microtus oeconomus and the brown bear Ursus arctos. We emphasize four inter-linked behavioral aspects—territoriality, dispersal, social inhibition of breeding, and infanticide—that together form a density-dependent syndrome with potentially regulatory effects on population growth. We show that the two species are similar in all four behaviors and thus the overall regulatory syndrome. Females form matrilineal assemblages, female natal dispersal is negatively density dependent and breeding is suppressed in philopatric young females. In both species, male turnover due to extrinsic mortality agents cause infanticide with negative effects on population growth. The sex-biased and density-dependent dispersal patterns promote the formation of matrilineal clusters which, in turn, leads to reproductive suppression with potentially regulatory effects. Hence, we show that intrinsic population regulation interacting with extrinsic mortality agents may occur irrespective of taxon, life history and body size. Our review stresses the significance of a mechanistic approach to understanding population ecology. We also show that experimental model populations are useful to elucidate natural populations of other species with similar social systems. In particular, such experiments should be combined with methodical innovations that may unravel the effects of cryptic intrinsic mechanisms such as infanticide. ; p. 1-10.
  • Idioma: Inglês

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