HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Pendulums, predators and prey: The ecology of coupled oscillations

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Connect one pendulum to another with a spring, and in time the motions of the two swinging levers will become coordinated.

This behavior of coupled oscillators---long a fascination of physicists and mathematicians---also can help biologists seeking to understand such questions as why some locations overflow with plants and animals while others are bereft, University of Michigan theoretical ecologist John Vandermeer maintains.

In the cover article for the December issue of the journal BioScience, Vandermeer summarizes theoretical work he has done over the past decade, leading to his conclusion that ecologists seeking to understand complex interactions in nature should pay closer attention to coupled oscillations.

The basic idea of oscillating populations is not new to ecology.

"We know that any predator-prey system, say lions and zebras for example, shows oscillations," said Vandermeer, who is the Margaret Davis Collegiate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. "If there are lots of lions preying on zebras, numbers of zebras decline; then because zebras are scarce, lions starve and their numbers dwindle, allowing the zebra population to build up again. You see this oscillation, changing on a regular basis from lots of predators with few prey to lots of prey with few predators. The pattern is like waves or pulsations."

What gets interesting is when two independently oscillating systems, such as lions preying on zebras and cheetahs preying on impalas, become connected through the invasion of a third predator---leopards, for instance.

"When they become connected, the situation is very much like connecting two springs together---the ups and downs get into regular patterns." In the case of lions, cheetahs and leopards, bringing leopards into the system causes lion and cheetah populations to oscillate in phase with each other----peaking and declining at the same time. That works to the le
'"/>

Contact: Nancy Ross-Flanigan
rossflan@umich.edu
734-647-1853
University of Michigan
1-Dec-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Prey not hard-wired to fear predators
2. Marine phytoplankton changes form to protect itself from different predators
3. Alien predators are more dangerous than native predators
4. Wheat can fatally starve insect predators
5. Pressured by predators, lizards see rapid shift in natural selection
6. USGS at The Wildlife Society: From sea-ice change to contaminants to predators and prey
7. Time of day tempers tadpoles response to predators
8. Sea slug mixes chemical defense before firing at predators
9. Creeping crinoids! Sea lilies crawl to escape predators, new video shows
10. Chickadees alarm calls carry information about size, threat of predators
11. Super predators and mass extinctions; extreme NMR; and the worlds smallest solenoids

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Pendulums predators and prey The ecology coupled oscillations

(Date:1/22/2015)... NXTD and NXTDW) a biometric authentication company focused on ... Wocket™ smart wallet at CES 2015 in Las Vegas ... the "11 Hot Products at CES" in a review published in Wired.com, ... Newseveryday.com and "The top 10 gadgets from CES 2015" by Danny ...
(Date:1/22/2015)... , Europe,s most ... Patent Office to present a video retrospective of the most exciting ... Christofer Toumazou and Sophie Wilson   ... the Award   Starting on 22 January 2015 on   ...
(Date:1/22/2015)... , Jan. 22, 2015 Infinisource has launched its ... the G2 model. The G2 sets a higher standard for ... human capital management solution. With plug-and-play installation, touch screen interface ... clock provides a robust time collection solution for the small ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):CES Response for NXT-ID's Wocket Smart Wallet Kicks Off 2015 2CES Response for NXT-ID's Wocket Smart Wallet Kicks Off 2015 3Ten Years of the European Inventor Award: A Retrospective Look at the Inventors and Ideas That Have Changed Our Lives 2Ten Years of the European Inventor Award: A Retrospective Look at the Inventors and Ideas That Have Changed Our Lives 3Infinisource's NXG series sets new time clock standard 2
(Date:2/26/2015)... (PRWEB) February 26, 2015 The ... -12, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center ... (count as of February 19, 2015) displaying products ... industrial, academic, and government labs. The Exposition will ... but not limited to, analytical chemistry; drug discovery; ...
(Date:2/26/2015)... February 26, 2015 RURO, Inc., a ... FreezerPro® version 6.2 – the latest update to the ... is that of a quick and easy method to ... the latest version, RURO engineering has enhanced the system’s ... move large amounts of sample records. , "FreezerPro ...
(Date:2/26/2015)... Regis Technologies announced new potent ... drug substances. , Regis Technologies is proud to announce ... Compound Suite (PCS) for 2015. , Regis is a ... facility in Morton Grove, Illinois. The PCS addition will ... up to about one kilogram per batch. , ...
(Date:2/26/2015)... SAN DIEGO , Feb. 26, 2015  Epic ... Prahalad , Ph.D. will present at the 35th Annual ... 2015 at 10:00 a.m. EST in the MIT Room, 3rd Floor. ... Copley Place Hotel in Boston, Mass. Epic is ... real-time detection of genomic and proteomic changes that occur ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Pittcon 2015 Announces Exposition Highlights 2RURO Releases FreezerPro® version 6.2 2Regis Extends cGMP Services to Oncology Market 2Epic Sciences to Present at 35th Annual Cowen and Company Health Care Conference 2
Cached News: