Direct negative density-dependence in a pond-breeding frog population

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


  • Raluca I. Băncilă
  • Arpat Ozgul
  • Tibor Hartel
  • Tibor Sos
  • Benedikt R. Schmidt

Understanding population dynamics is critical for the management of animal populations. Comparatively little is known about the relative importance of endogenous (i.e. density-dependent) and exogenous (i.e. density-independent) factors on the population dynamics of amphibians with complex life cycles. We examined the potential effects of density-dependent and -independent (i.e. climatic) factors on population dynamics by analyzing a 15-yr time series data of the agile frog Rana dalmatina population from Târnava Mare Valley, Romania. We used two statistical models: 1) the partial rate correlation function to identify the feedback structure and the potential time lags in the time series data and 2) a Gompertz state-space model to simultaneously investigate direct and delayed density dependence as well as climatic effects on population growth rate. We found evidence for direct negative density dependence, whereas delayed density dependence and climate did not show a strong influence on population growth rate. Here we demonstrated that direct density dependence rather than delayed density dependence or climate determined the dynamics of our study population. Our results confirm the findings of many experimental studies and suggest that density dependence may buffer amphibian populations against environmental stress. Consequently, it may not be easy to scale up from individual-level effects to population-level effects.

Seiten (von - bis)449-455
Anzahl der Seiten7
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 05.2016