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Title: Elevational gradient in the cyclicity of a forest-defoliating insect

Author: Haynes, Kyle J.; Liebhold, Andrew M.; Johnson, Derek M.

Year: 2012

Publication: Population Ecology. 54: 239-250.

Abstract: Observed changes in the cyclicity of herbivore populations along latitudinal gradients and the hypothesis that shifts in the importance of generalist versus specialist predators explain such gradients has long been a matter of intense interest. In contrast, elevational gradients in population cyclicity are largely unexplored. We quantified the cyclicity of gypsy moth populations along an elevational gradient by applying wavelet analysis to spatially referenced 31-year records (1975-2005) of defoliation. Based on geographically weighted regression and nonlinear regression, we found either a hump-shaped or plateauing relationship between elevation and the cyclicity of gypsy moth populations and a positive relationship between cyclicity and the density of the gypsy moth's preferred host-tree species. The potential effects of elevational gradients in the density of generalist predators and preferred host-tree species on the cyclicity of gypsy moth populations were evaluated with mechanistic simulation models.

Last Modified: 4/6/2012


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