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:10/17/2014)... from the University of Copenhagen have shown for the ... lungs of Cystic fibrosis patients, giving them the opportunity ... in chronic infections. , The study also discovered the ... (CF) patients was halted or slowed down by the ... all the oxygen and helped "suffocate" the bacteria, forcing ...
(Date:10/16/2014)... on how the bowel lining develops and, in the ... starts. , The researchers produced evidence that stem cells ... are a feature of the bowel lining, and believe ... a controversial finding as scientists are still divided on ... Dr Chin Wee Tan and Professor Tony Burgess from ...
(Date:10/15/2014)... , Oct. 15, 2014 Sandata Technologies, ... home and community-based care, today announced it released ... Sandata,s Santrax® Electronic Visit Verification™ Solution (EVV™)  for ... a home health company founded in 1996 and ... . The study details the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Scientists opens black box on bacterial growth in cystic fibrosis lung infection 2Cryptic clues drive new theory of bowel cancer development 2Sandata Announces Case Study with Quality Care Services, Inc. 2
(Date:10/19/2014)... 19, 2014 The Latin American hardware ... in Latin America with analysis and forecast of revenue. ... and is expected to reach $2,366.8 million by 2018, ... , Browse through the TOC of the Latin American ... the in-depth analysis provided. It also provides a glimpse ...
(Date:10/19/2014)... October 19, 2014 The Asia-Pacific ... market in Asia-Pacific with analysis and forecast of ... Asia Pacific Bromine Market report, to get an ... provides a glimpse of the segmentation in the ... tables and figures. , http://www.micromarketmonitor.com/market/asia-pacific-bromine-6741503144.html ...
(Date:10/19/2014)... The report "Chocolate, Cocoa Beans, Lecithin, ... Geography Trend and Forecast (2011 - 2016)," analyzes ... and studies the major market drivers, restraints, and opportunities ... Asia. , The global chocolate market is expected to ... 2016 at an estimated CAGR of 2.7% from 2011 ...
(Date:10/19/2014)... October 19, 2014 According to ... (Access Points; WLAN Controllers; Wireless gateways)]- Global Advancements, ... segments the global Outdoor Wi-Fi market with analysis ... report MarketsandMarkets also identifies the drivers and the ... the trends, opportunities and challenges. , Browse 65 ...
Breaking Biology Technology:The Latin American hardware encryption display market is expected to reach $2,366.8 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The Latin American hardware encryption display market is expected to reach $2,366.8 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3The Asia-Pacific Bromine Market is estimated to grow to $4,080.1 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The Asia-Pacific Bromine Market is estimated to grow to $4,080.1 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3Chocolate Market Projected To Reach $98.3 Billion by 2016 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Chocolate Market Projected To Reach $98.3 Billion by 2016 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Chocolate Market Projected To Reach $98.3 Billion by 2016 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 4Outdoor Wi-Fi Market (by Access Points, WLAN Controllers, Wireless gateways) Expected to Cross $37.2 Billion by 2018 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Outdoor Wi-Fi Market (by Access Points, WLAN Controllers, Wireless gateways) Expected to Cross $37.2 Billion by 2018 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Outdoor Wi-Fi Market (by Access Points, WLAN Controllers, Wireless gateways) Expected to Cross $37.2 Billion by 2018 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 4
Cached News: