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Density, climate and varying return points: an analysis of long-term population fluctuations in the threatened European tree frog.

Authors
Journal
Oecologia
0029-8549
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Volume
149
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00442-006-0432-1
Keywords
  • Animals
  • Anura/Physiology
  • Climate
  • Conservation Of Natural Resources/Statistics & Numerical Data
  • Ecosystem
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Models
  • Theoretical
  • Population Density
  • Population Dynamics
  • Switzerland

Abstract

Experimental research has identified many putative agents of amphibian decline, yet the population-level consequences of these agents remain unknown, owing to lack of information on compensatory density dependence in natural populations. Here, we investigate the relative importance of intrinsic (density-dependent) and extrinsic (climatic) factors impacting the dynamics of a tree frog (Hyla arborea) population over 22 years. A combination of log-linear density dependence and rainfall (with a 2-year time lag corresponding to development time) explain 75% of the variance in the rate of increase. Such fluctuations around a variable return point might be responsible for the seemingly erratic demography and disequilibrium dynamics of many amphibian populations.

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