Document details for 'Europe-wide dampening of population cycles in keystone herbivores'

Authors Cornulier, T., Yoccoz, N.G., Bretagnolle, V., Brommer, J.E., Butet, A., Ecke, F., Elston, D.A., Framstad, E., Henttonen, H., Hornfeldt, B., Huitu, O., Imholt, C., Ims, R.A., Jacbos, J., Jedrzejewska, B., Millon, A., Petty, S.J., Pietiainen, H., Tkadlec, E., Zub, K. and Lambin, X.
Publication details Science 340, 63-66.
Keywords Large scale environmental change has caused Europe-wide dampening of small herbivore population fluctuations across ecosystems
Abstract Suggestions of collapse in small herbivore cycles since the 1980's have raised concerns about the loss of essential ecosystem functions. Whether such phenomena are general and result from extrinsic environmental changes, or from intrinsic process stochasticity, is currently unknown. Using a large compilation of time series of vole abundances, we demonstrate consistent cycle amplitude dampening associated with a reduction in winter population growth, though regulatory processes responsible for cyclicity have not been lost. The underlying syndrome of change throughout Europe and herbivorous vole species suggests a common climatic driver. Increasing intervals of low amplitude small herbivore population fluctuations are expected in the future, and these may have cascading impacts on trophic webs across ecosystems.
Last updated 2013-12-17

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