HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
It's feast or famine: Predators may drive lemming cycles, Science researchers say

This news release is also available in French.

New findings suggest that a special combination of predators can drive lemming populations through a four-year boom and bust cycle, which has been one of ecology's big mysteries for over half a century.

While it's a myth that lemmings hurl themselves en masse over cliffs, the reality has been nearly as bewildering for Scandinavians and others at northern high latitudes who periodically find the land awash in these small rodents. Depending on the species, populations of lemmings and their vole cousins can explode by 100 or even 1,000 times their original size and then crash on a regular basis.

The collared lemming, which lives in the high-arctic tundra, is the single prey in one of the world's simplest vertebrate predator-prey relationships. The stoat, arctic fox, snowy owl, and a seabird called the long-tailed skua all dine on this hamster-like animal.

Scientists now suggest that these four predators may be solely responsible for the four-year population cycle in eastern Greenland and possibly in many other collared lemming populations. In contrast to previous hypotheses, food or space shortages didn't appear to be involved, the researchers report in their study, which appears in the 31 October issue of the journal Science, published by AAAS, the non-profit science society

"This question of lemming cycles has been open for almost a century. Different schools have argued about this. It has been a very, very hot issue," said study author Olivier Gilg of the University of Helsinki in Finland and Center for Biology and Management of Populations (CBGP), in Montferrier, France.

The field of small mammal ecology was born in 1924, when the eminent British ecologist Charles Elton published one of his seminal papers on rodent population cycles. Researchers have been studying these cycles ever since
'"/>

Contact: Christina Smith
ccsmith@aaas.org
202-326-7088
American Association for the Advancement of Science
30-Oct-2003


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Subtract a gene and feasting mice add no fat
2. A feast of lobsters
3. Study: King Midas feast offered golden opportunity for fungi
4. Predators and human health
5. Predators: an overlooked player in plant-pollinator relationships
6. Predators drive evolution of virtual prey appearance
7. Research Shows How Shrimps Escape Predators
8. Broken arms and collateral damage: clues to predator-driven evolution
9. Ecology drives the worldwide distribution of human diseases
10. Espionage may have driven the evolution of bee language according to UCSD-led study in Brazil
11. Changes to insect-seeking calls of horseshoe bats may drive new species formation

Post Your Comments:
(Date:3/2/2015)... March 2, 2015  Businesses have a new ... company Tharon Rankins Enterprises has announced the launch ... ultra-safe way for businesses to protect their customers, ... Beconux is a biometric transaction ... Functioning similarly to an ATM machine, the new ...
(Date:2/25/2015)... Ark. , Feb. 25, 2015  ABC ... and billing in the Health and Fitness Industry, ... well as to MYiCLUBonline.  The latest upgrade includes ... the inclusion of cardless check-in via Identity One ... the first time through interactive displays at the ...
(Date:2/24/2015)... 2015 This report analyzes the worldwide markets for Face ... Biometrics, and Voice Biometrics. The report provides separate comprehensive analytics for ... , Europe , Asia-Pacific , ... , and Latin America . Annual estimates and ... seven-year historic analysis is provided for these markets. Market data and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Personal Data Protection Company Launches New Product 2ABC Financial Unveils New Software Enhancements 2ABC Financial Unveils New Software Enhancements 3World Face and Voice Biometrics Industry 2World Face and Voice Biometrics Industry 3World Face and Voice Biometrics Industry 4World Face and Voice Biometrics Industry 5World Face and Voice Biometrics Industry 6World Face and Voice Biometrics Industry 7World Face and Voice Biometrics Industry 8World Face and Voice Biometrics Industry 9World Face and Voice Biometrics Industry 10World Face and Voice Biometrics Industry 11World Face and Voice Biometrics Industry 12World Face and Voice Biometrics Industry 13World Face and Voice Biometrics Industry 14World Face and Voice Biometrics Industry 15World Face and Voice Biometrics Industry 16
(Date:3/30/2015)... IRVINE, Calif. , March 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... that its subsidiary corporation, NuGene BioPharma, Inc. has ... board. Dr. Guan is an internationally ... After finishing his college education at Peking University, ... his Ph.D. degree from the University of North ...
(Date:3/30/2015)... , March 30, 2015    Intrexon Corporation ... synthetic biology, and Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical business ... , today announced an exclusive strategic collaboration and ... Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) cancer therapies. This collaboration advances ... therapies that modulate the immune system,s natural ability ...
(Date:3/30/2015)... , March 30, 2015 ... auf    Richmond Pharmacology ist das erste ... Amyloidose-Zentrum am Royal Free Hospital in ... zur Untersuchung eines RNAi-Therapeutikums Studienversuche an einem Patienten ... von Transthyretin vermittelter Amyloidose entwickelt (ATTR), einer seltenen ...
(Date:3/29/2015)... March 29, 2015 As a symbol ... required by our pharmaceutical manufacturing clients, Whitehouse Laboratories is ... of the Berkenstock Race Team for the 2015 race ... only speed, but a strong sense of precision and ... lead to success in the quality control testing laboratory. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:UCI Professor Zhibin Guan Joins NuGene Advisory Board 2UCI Professor Zhibin Guan Joins NuGene Advisory Board 3Intrexon and Merck Serono Announce Agreement for the Development and Commercialization of CAR-T Therapy 2Intrexon and Merck Serono Announce Agreement for the Development and Commercialization of CAR-T Therapy 3Intrexon and Merck Serono Announce Agreement for the Development and Commercialization of CAR-T Therapy 4Whitehouse Laboratories Reaffirms Commitment to Speedy Results – Renews Sponsorship of Berkenstock Racing Team 2
Cached News: