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Population Dynamics and Life History Tactics of Arthropods from Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems

G. P. Stamou, G. V. Stamou, E. M. Papatheodorou, M. D. Argyropoulou and S. G. Tzafestas
Oikos
Vol. 104, No. 1 (Jan., 2004), pp. 98-108
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3548320
Page Count: 11
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Population Dynamics and Life History Tactics of Arthropods from
              Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems
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Abstract

The null hypothesis of this paper is that survival of arthropods under the severe Mediterranean conditions involves specific combinations of conservative and conformist traits. To test this hypothesis a modeling approach employing a Leslie-type matrix model and a fuzzy systems technique for parameter estimation is developed and applied to a model species. The general conclusion is that the results of this paper add support to the null hypothesis, whereas specific conclusions are as follows: 1) matrix models merging demographic and physiological parameters are suitable tools for the simulation of population dynamics of arthropods and further for the discussion of the interplay among life history traits; 2) employing linguistic instead of arithmetic variables, fuzzy approaches allow for the formalization of incomplete and/or missing data exploiting expertise concerning related species; 3) in general, population dynamics of arthropods follow the seasonality of the Mediterranean climate; 4) the basic mechanism underlying skewing phenologies and stochastic equilibrium is identified with the type of temperature dependence of arthropod metabolic activity; 5) under optimal conditions an exponential trend is superimposed on seasonal population dynamics; 6) more realistic conditions involving large-scale random oscillation in temperature in autumn and spring coupled with small-scale temperature oscillation in summer and winter result in stochastic equilibrium; 7) moderate contamination of soil and medium-scale oscillation in temperature result in stable temporal patterns; 8) a sensitivity analysis shows disproportional effect of different demographic parameters on population growth rate. Fecundity of young and middle-aged adults is most important for the rate of population growth, whereas elder animals are considered an important pool for maintenance of the population.

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