A gradient from stable to cyclic populations of Clethrionomys rufocanus in Hokkaido, Japan

N. Chr Stenseth, Ottar N. Bjornstad, T. Saitoh

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A total of 31 years of abundance data from 90 populations of the grey-sided vole (Clethrionomys rufocanus) in northern Hokkaido (Japan) were analysed with respect to population dynamic characteristics. Both non-periodic and multi-annually periodic fluctuations occur among the studied populations. The length of the period varies from 2 to 5 years. The dynamics appear approximately linear on a logarithmic scale, and a log-linear stochastic difference model with one time-lag is found to recreate the periodograms of the time series. The deterministic (log-linear) component of these models determines the periodicity while stochasticity sustains the cycles. The dynamics of the Hokkaidian vole populations are found to vary clinally from the western coast eastwards and towards the interior of the study area. This gradient corresponds superficially to the latitudinal gradient seen in microtine populations in Fennoscandia. However, under close scrutiny, these gradients differ greatly: the Hokkaidian gradient is caused by a dine in delayed density dependence. Statistical delayed density dependence is more negative towards the east and the interior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1117-1126
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1374
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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