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Journal Article

Nomadic Predators and Geographical Synchrony in Microtine Population Cycles

Ronald C. Ydenberg
Oikos
Vol. 50, No. 2 (Oct., 1987), pp. 270-272
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3566014
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3566014
Page Count: 3

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Topics: Predators, Predation, Rodents, Weather, Population distributions, Foraging, Owls, Birds of prey, Breeding, Lynx
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Nomadic Predators and Geographical Synchrony in Microtine Population Cycles
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Abstract

Populations of many microtine rodent species show regular fluctuations that are synchronous over large areas. Previous explanations for synchrony have invoked the influence of weather. I propose an hypothesis which states that, if nomadic predators distribute themselves among the available peak populations, and if they can affect the duration of any phase of the population cycle, then out-of-phase populations will be pushed into phase by the disproportionately high numbers of nomadic predators they attract when they are in peak phase and other populations are low. The mechanism by which predators affect the duration of a cycle phase may lie in the behavioural response of individual microtines to predation risk.

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