Population fluctuations and spatial synchrony in an arboreal rodent

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Selonen , V , Remm , J , Hanski , I K , Henttonen , H , Huitu , O , Jokinen , M , Korpimäki , E , Makela , A , Sulkava , R & Wistbacka , R 2019 , ' Population fluctuations and spatial synchrony in an arboreal rodent ' , Oecologia , vol. 191 , no. 4 , pp. 861-871 . https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-019-04537-3

Title: Population fluctuations and spatial synchrony in an arboreal rodent
Author: Selonen, Vesa; Remm, Jaanus; Hanski, Ilpo K.; Henttonen, Heikki; Huitu, Otso; Jokinen, Maarit; Korpimäki, Erkki; Makela, Antero; Sulkava, Risto; Wistbacka, Ralf
Contributor: University of Helsinki, University Management
University of Helsinki, Biosciences
Date: 2019-12
Language: eng
Number of pages: 11
Belongs to series: Oecologia
ISSN: 0029-8549
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/307743
Abstract: Climatic conditions, trophic links between species and dispersal may induce spatial synchrony in population fluctuations. Spatial synchrony increases the extinction risk of populations and, thus, it is important to understand how synchrony-inducing mechanisms affect populations already threatened by habitat loss and climate change. For many species, it is unclear how population fluctuations vary over time and space, and what factors potentially drive this variation. In this study, we focus on factors determining population fluctuations and spatial synchrony in the Siberian flying squirrel, Pteromys volans, using long-term monitoring data from 16 Finnish populations located 2-400 km apart. We found an indication of synchronous population dynamics on a large scale in flying squirrels. However, the synchrony was not found to be clearly related to distance between study sites because the populations seemed to be strongly affected by small-scale local factors. The regularity of population fluctuations varied over time. The fluctuations were linked to changes in winter precipitation, which has previously been linked to the reproductive success of flying squirrels. Food abundance (tree mast) and predator abundance were not related to population fluctuations in this study. We conclude that spatial synchrony was not unequivocally related to distance in flying squirrels, as has been observed in earlier studies for more abundant rodent species. Our study also emphasises the role of climate in population fluctuations and the synchrony of the species.
Subject: Climate change
Dispersal
Resource pulse
Population dynamics
Reproductive success
Squirrel
SIBERIAN FLYING SQUIRREL
RED SQUIRRELS
REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS
VOLE POPULATIONS
PTEROMYS-VOLANS
NATAL DISPERSAL
BREEDING SITES
BOREAL FORESTS
DYNAMICS
CLIMATE
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
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