Premium Density Dependence in the Common Lizard: Demographic Consequences of a Density ManipulationPremium
Density dependence plays an important role in the regulation of most populations. Descriptive studies provide only limited evidence, while density manipulations are thought to be a more powerful tool. Here, we describe such a manipulation. We experimentally analyzed demographic responses to changes in density in common lizard (Lacerta vivipara) populations. Two neighboring sites were studied from 1986 to 1988. At the end of the first year, density was artificially decreased at one site and increased at the other. The evolution of demographic parameters over time (before and after manipulation) was compared between the two sites. We found that: (1) density in each age and sex class quickly converged to pre—experimental values at both sites; (2) survival rates (introduced individuals excluded) were unchanged, except that juvenile mortality was positively related to density; (3) emigration rates remained low and did not seem to be influenced by density, while immigration rates were negatively influenced by density; (4) the proportion of young reproductive females was negatively influenced by density; (5) body length and growth rate were negatively influenced by sensitivity only in yearlings, and at least in females, no catchup on growth is apparently possible; no difference in reserve storage was found; and (6) female reproduction was modified by the manipulation through clutch size and hatching success, which were negatively influenced by density; however, no difference was detected for hatching date, number of abortive (clear) eggs, prenatal mortality, reproductive investment, and body mass of live neonates. Rapid density readjustments were mostly explained by immigration into the site where density was decreased, and by high mortality of introduced individuals and of native juveniles where density was increased. Other parameters that were influenced by the manipulation could only have induced delayed effects on population density. Different age and sex classes showed different responses to density. These responses indicate that density dependence plays a key role in shaping the demography of this lizard species.
Subject(s)avian clutch size , biology , bone density , demography , density dependence , ecology , endocrinology , hatching , juvenile , lizard , osteoporosis , population , population density , reproduction , sociology , zoology
SCImago Journal Rank2.144
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