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Model of microtine cycles caused by lethal toxins in non-preferred food plants

Model of microtine cycles caused by lethal toxins in non-preferred food plants
Model of microtine cycles caused by lethal toxins in non-preferred food plants
A recent model of microtine cycles has hypothesized that plant chemical defences can drive the precipitous decline phase, through periodic lethal toxin production (PLTP) by non-preferred plant foods. Here we enumerate possible mechanisms using a previously published model of optimal foraging by one consumer (microtine rodent) of two types of food plant (1 preferred and 1 nonpreferred). Rate constants for each of the model parameters were sought from the extensive literature on vole cycles. For a range of likely values of input parameters, we evaluated model fit by applying five empirically derived criteria for cyclic behaviour. These were: cycles with a period length of 2–5 yr, peak densities of 100–350 voles per ha and trough densities of 0–25 ha1, ratio of peak to trough densities of 10–100, and the occurrence of a catastrophic collapse in the vole population followed by a prolonged low phase. In contrast to previous models of food-induced microtine cycles, the optimal foraging model successfully reproduced the first four criteria and the prolonged low phase. The criterion of population collapse was met if the non-preferred food began producing lethal toxins at a threshold grazing intensity, as predicted by PLTP. Fewer criteria could be met in variations on the model, in which the non-preferred food was equally as nutritious as the preferred food or was continuously toxic.
lemmings, population cycles, population regulation, voles, wound-induced responses
0022-5193
593-604
Kent, Adam
93be5365-3fc2-4a2c-8712-50d9e04eefe7
Plesner Jensen, Susanne Plesner
9b0b901c-7ffb-48e7-99e9-23d20328fb2a
Doncaster, C.Patrick
0eff2f42-fa0a-4e35-b6ac-475ad3482047
Kent, Adam
93be5365-3fc2-4a2c-8712-50d9e04eefe7
Plesner Jensen, Susanne Plesner
9b0b901c-7ffb-48e7-99e9-23d20328fb2a
Doncaster, C.Patrick
0eff2f42-fa0a-4e35-b6ac-475ad3482047

Kent, Adam, Plesner Jensen, Susanne Plesner and Doncaster, C.Patrick (2005) Model of microtine cycles caused by lethal toxins in non-preferred food plants. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 234 (4), 593-604. (doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2004.12.014).

Record type: Article

Abstract

A recent model of microtine cycles has hypothesized that plant chemical defences can drive the precipitous decline phase, through periodic lethal toxin production (PLTP) by non-preferred plant foods. Here we enumerate possible mechanisms using a previously published model of optimal foraging by one consumer (microtine rodent) of two types of food plant (1 preferred and 1 nonpreferred). Rate constants for each of the model parameters were sought from the extensive literature on vole cycles. For a range of likely values of input parameters, we evaluated model fit by applying five empirically derived criteria for cyclic behaviour. These were: cycles with a period length of 2–5 yr, peak densities of 100–350 voles per ha and trough densities of 0–25 ha1, ratio of peak to trough densities of 10–100, and the occurrence of a catastrophic collapse in the vole population followed by a prolonged low phase. In contrast to previous models of food-induced microtine cycles, the optimal foraging model successfully reproduced the first four criteria and the prolonged low phase. The criterion of population collapse was met if the non-preferred food began producing lethal toxins at a threshold grazing intensity, as predicted by PLTP. Fewer criteria could be met in variations on the model, in which the non-preferred food was equally as nutritious as the preferred food or was continuously toxic.

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Published date: 21 June 2005
Keywords: lemmings, population cycles, population regulation, voles, wound-induced responses

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 35571
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/35571
ISSN: 0022-5193
PURE UUID: 5742d660-4def-4305-b782-3f1afab80b86
ORCID for C.Patrick Doncaster: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9406-0693

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Date deposited: 19 May 2006
Last modified: 20 Jul 2019 01:18

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Contributors

Author: Adam Kent
Author: Susanne Plesner Plesner Jensen

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