### Abstract

1. Recent characterizations of the spatial scale of population dynamics have typically considered patterns at a single scale and ignored the possibility that different patterns may arise at different scales. In this study we assessed population densities of field voles with cyclic dynamics in northern England at 147 sites from three spatial scales on five occasions over a 2.5-year period.

2. The scale over which densities were similar was estimated by comparing the variance of density at the three scales (< 1 km(2), 10 km(2), and 70 km(2)) and by using autocorrelation techniques. Closer sites were more similar in density than more distant sites and the autocorrelations suggested that sites up to within 8-20 km had more similar densities and higher population synchrony than the average similarity for all the sampling sites.

3, A generalized additive model fitted to all the data showed that the data supported the hypothesis of a travelling wave of vole densities moving through the study area. The model assumed that the wave moved at a constant speed and in a uniform direction. Estimates of the wave's speed (14 km year(-1)) and direction (travelling in a direction of 66<degrees> from north) were consistent with the estimates which had previously been calculated from a time series of vole densities covering a much smaller spatial area but a longer temporal scale.

4. The spatio-temporal pattern of vole densities detected over a small spatial scale therefore appears to extend over much larger scales and occurs despite the fragmentation of suitable vole habitat at local (a few square kilometres) and regional (hundreds of square kilometres) scales.

Original language | English |
---|---|

Pages (from-to) | 101-111 |

Number of pages | 10 |

Journal | Journal of Animal Ecology |

Volume | 70 |

Issue number | 1 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 2001 |

### Keywords

- field voles
- Kielder
- Microtus agrestis
- population synchrony
- spatial scale
- travelling wave
- MICROTINE POPULATION-CYCLES
- TRAVELING WAVES
- GEOGRAPHICAL SYNCHRONY
- AVIAN PREDATORS
- DYNAMICS
- SPACE
- AUTOCORRELATION
- OSCILLATIONS
- ASYNCHRONY
- MOBILITY

### Cite this

*Journal of Animal Ecology*,

*70*(1), 101-111. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2656.2001.00479.x

**Scale invariant spatio-temporal patterns of field vole density.** / MacKinnon, J. L.; Petty, S. J.; Elston, D. A.; Thomas, C. J.; Sherratt, T. N.; Lambin, Xavier.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article

*Journal of Animal Ecology*, vol. 70, no. 1, pp. 101-111. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2656.2001.00479.x

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Scale invariant spatio-temporal patterns of field vole density

AU - MacKinnon, J. L.

AU - Petty, S. J.

AU - Elston, D. A.

AU - Thomas, C. J.

AU - Sherratt, T. N.

AU - Lambin, Xavier

PY - 2001

Y1 - 2001

N2 - 1. Recent characterizations of the spatial scale of population dynamics have typically considered patterns at a single scale and ignored the possibility that different patterns may arise at different scales. In this study we assessed population densities of field voles with cyclic dynamics in northern England at 147 sites from three spatial scales on five occasions over a 2.5-year period.2. The scale over which densities were similar was estimated by comparing the variance of density at the three scales (< 1 km(2), 10 km(2), and 70 km(2)) and by using autocorrelation techniques. Closer sites were more similar in density than more distant sites and the autocorrelations suggested that sites up to within 8-20 km had more similar densities and higher population synchrony than the average similarity for all the sampling sites.3, A generalized additive model fitted to all the data showed that the data supported the hypothesis of a travelling wave of vole densities moving through the study area. The model assumed that the wave moved at a constant speed and in a uniform direction. Estimates of the wave's speed (14 km year(-1)) and direction (travelling in a direction of 66 from north) were consistent with the estimates which had previously been calculated from a time series of vole densities covering a much smaller spatial area but a longer temporal scale.4. The spatio-temporal pattern of vole densities detected over a small spatial scale therefore appears to extend over much larger scales and occurs despite the fragmentation of suitable vole habitat at local (a few square kilometres) and regional (hundreds of square kilometres) scales.

AB - 1. Recent characterizations of the spatial scale of population dynamics have typically considered patterns at a single scale and ignored the possibility that different patterns may arise at different scales. In this study we assessed population densities of field voles with cyclic dynamics in northern England at 147 sites from three spatial scales on five occasions over a 2.5-year period.2. The scale over which densities were similar was estimated by comparing the variance of density at the three scales (< 1 km(2), 10 km(2), and 70 km(2)) and by using autocorrelation techniques. Closer sites were more similar in density than more distant sites and the autocorrelations suggested that sites up to within 8-20 km had more similar densities and higher population synchrony than the average similarity for all the sampling sites.3, A generalized additive model fitted to all the data showed that the data supported the hypothesis of a travelling wave of vole densities moving through the study area. The model assumed that the wave moved at a constant speed and in a uniform direction. Estimates of the wave's speed (14 km year(-1)) and direction (travelling in a direction of 66 from north) were consistent with the estimates which had previously been calculated from a time series of vole densities covering a much smaller spatial area but a longer temporal scale.4. The spatio-temporal pattern of vole densities detected over a small spatial scale therefore appears to extend over much larger scales and occurs despite the fragmentation of suitable vole habitat at local (a few square kilometres) and regional (hundreds of square kilometres) scales.

KW - field voles

KW - Kielder

KW - Microtus agrestis

KW - population synchrony

KW - spatial scale

KW - travelling wave

KW - MICROTINE POPULATION-CYCLES

KW - TRAVELING WAVES

KW - GEOGRAPHICAL SYNCHRONY

KW - AVIAN PREDATORS

KW - DYNAMICS

KW - SPACE

KW - AUTOCORRELATION

KW - OSCILLATIONS

KW - ASYNCHRONY

KW - MOBILITY

U2 - 10.1046/j.1365-2656.2001.00479.x

DO - 10.1046/j.1365-2656.2001.00479.x

M3 - Article

VL - 70

SP - 101

EP - 111

JO - Journal of Animal Ecology

JF - Journal of Animal Ecology

SN - 0021-8790

IS - 1

ER -