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Predator-prey relationships: Arctic foxes and lemmings
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5535-9086
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
1999 (English)In: Journal of Animal Ecology, Vol. 68, no 1, 34-49 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

1. The number of breeding dens and litter sizes of arctic foxes Alopex lagopus were recorded and the diet of the foxes was analysed during a ship-based expedition to 17 sites along the Siberian north coast. At the same time the cyclic dynamics of coexisting lemming species were examined. 2. The diet of arctic foxes was dominated by the Siberian lemming Lemmus sibiricus (on one site the Norwegian lemming L. lemmus), followed by the collared lemming Dicrostonyx torquatus. 3. The examined Lemmus sibiricus populations were in different phases of the lemming cycle as determined by age profiles and population densities. 4. The numerical response of arctic foxes to varying densities of Lemmus had a time lag of 1 year, producing a pattern of limit cycles in lemming-arctic fox interactions, Arctic fox litter sizes showed no time lag, but a linear relation to Lemmus densities. We found no evidence for a numerical response to population density changes in. Dicrostonyx. 5. The functional or dietary response of arctic foxes followed a type II curve for Lemmus, but a type III response curve for Dicrostonyx. 6. Arctic foxes act as resident specialist for Lemmus and may increase the amplitude and period of their population cycles. For Dicrostonyx, on the other hand, arctic foxes act as generalists which suggests a capacity to dampen oscillations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1999. Vol. 68, no 1, 34-49 p.
Keyword [en]
Arctic, cycles, functional response, numerical response, tundra, SNOWSHOE HARE CYCLE, ALOPEX-LAGOPUS, NORTHERN ALASKA, POPULATION-DYNAMICS, FUNCTIONAL-RESPONSES, REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS, RODENT, POPULATIONS, SOUTHERN SWEDEN, VOLE CYCLE, HOME-RANGE
National Category
Zoology
Research subject
Zoology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-29672DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2656.1999.00258.xISBN: 0021-8790 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-29672DiVA: diva2:234718
Note
ISI Document Delivery No.: 186VG Times Cited: 56 Cited Reference Count: 92Available from: 2009-09-10 Created: 2009-09-10 Last updated: 2014-10-13Bibliographically approved

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