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Temporal and Spatial Population Dynamics among Patches Connected by Habitat Selection

Douglas W. Morris
Oikos
Vol. 75, No. 2 (Mar., 1996), pp. 207-219
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3546244
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3546244
Page Count: 13
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Temporal and Spatial Population Dynamics among Patches Connected by Habitat Selection
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Abstract

Studies of population regulation that do not explicitly include habitat may often misrepresent the nature of density dependence. Habitat's influence on population regulation can be assessed by cross-correlations of population density in different habitats (isodars). Different forms of habitat-dependent population regulation can be revealed by their isodars. Isodars can also be used to predict unique sets of interactions between estimates of fitness and population density in different habitats. I explore the role of habitat on population regulation and test the underlying theory with a long-term study of the population dynamics and reproductive success of white-footed mice living in nest boxes. The data revealed persistent but possibly declining seasonal populations connected by habitat selection. The theory predicts significant interactions between fitness, habitat and population density. Recruitment success (an estimate of a female's current reproductive value) depended upon seasonally lagged density but did not vary among habitats. Maternal survival (an estimate of residual reproductive value) confirmed the predictions because it depended not only upon seasonally lagged density, but also upon an interaction with habitat. There was no evidence of asynchrony in density dependence among habitats that could reduce the effectiveness of habitat selection in population regulation. The results are consistent with theories of habitat selection, they demonstrate the role of habitat selection in population dynamics and confirm the theories' ability to infer habitat's influence on population regulation.

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