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Floater dynamics can explain positive patterns of density-dependent fecundity in animal populations

AuthorsPenteriani, Vincenzo ; Olatora, F.; Ferrer, Miguel
Issue Date2006
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press
CitationAmerican Naturalist 168: 697- 703 (2006)
AbstractAfter some 70 years of debate on density-dependent regulation of animal populations, there is still poor understanding of where spatial and temporal density dependence occurs. Clearly defining the portion of the population that shapes density-dependent patterns may help to solve some of the ambiguities that encircle density dependence and its patterns. In fact, individuals of the same species and population can show different dynamics and behaviors depending on their locations (e.g., breeding vs. dispersal areas). Considering this form of intrapopulation heterogeneity may improve our understanding of density dependence and population dynamics in general. We present the results of individual-based simulations on a metapopulation of the Spanish imperial eagle Aquila adalberti. Our results suggest that high rates of floater mortality within settlement areas can determine a shift in the classical relationship (from negative to positive) between the fecundity (i.e., fledglings per pair) and density (i.e., number of pairs) of the breeding population. Finally, we proved that different initial conditions affecting the breeder portion of the population can lead to the same values of fecundity. Our results can represent a starting point for new and more complex approaches studying the regulation of animal populations, where the forgotten and invisible component-the floater-is taken into account. © 2006 by The University of Chicago.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1086/507995
issn: 0003-0147
Appears in Collections:(EBD) Artículos
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