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A novel experimental apparatus to study the impact of white noise and 1/f noise on animal populations.

Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Design
  • Ecology
  • Geography


This paper reports on the design and construction of a novel apparatus that allows a set of aquatic microcosms to experience complex temporal environmental fluctuations. Replicate microcosms were maintained in 18 water baths with independent environmental controls. We give results from a preliminary experiment designed to look at the effects of varying temperatures with different variance spectra (i.e. white noise or 1/f noise) on single species population dynamics. Matching time series (with identical elements, differently ordered) of environmental temperatures with different Fourier spectra were created for use as input to the apparatus using a novel spectral mimicry method. The apparatus functioned well during the course of the experiment making this an extremely useful research tool. This apparatus now provides ecologists with a means of studying how environmental variability and directional trends in this variability, are filtered and translated by real populations and micro-ecosystems.

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