Are simple time lags responsible for cyclic variation of population density? : a comparison of laboratory population dynamics of Brachionus calyciflorus pallas (rotatoria) with computer simulations
Halbach, U.; Burkhardt, H.J.ür.
Oecologia 9(3): 215-222
Laboratory populations of the rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus were cultured at different temperatures (25, 20, 15°C) but otherwise at constant conditions. The population densities showed relatively constant oscillations (Figs. 1 to 3A-C). Amplitudes and frequencies of the oscillations were positively correlated with temperature (Table 1). A test was made, whether the logistic growth function with simple time lag is able to describe the population curves. There are strong similarities between the simulations (Figs. 1-3E) and the real population dynamics if minor adjustments of the empirically determined parameters are made. There-fore it is suggested that time lags are responsible for the observed oscillations. However, the actual time lags probably do not act in the simple manner of the model, because birth and death rates react with different time lags, and both parameters are dependent on individual age and population density. A more complex model, which incorporates these modifications, should lead to a more realistic description of the observed oscillations.