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Data from: Effects of spatial structure of population size on the population dynamics of barnacles across their elevational range


Fukaya, Keiichi; Okuda, Takehiro; Nakaoka, Masahiro; Noda, Takashi (2015), Data from: Effects of spatial structure of population size on the population dynamics of barnacles across their elevational range, Dryad, Dataset,


1. Explanations for why population dynamics vary across the range of a species reflect two contrasting hypotheses: (1) temporal variability of populations is larger in the centre of the range compared to the margins because overcompensatory density dependence destabilizes population dynamics, and (2) population variability is larger near the margins, where populations are more susceptible to environmental fluctuations. In both of these hypotheses, positions within the range are assumed to affect population variability. 2. In contrast, the fact that population variability is often related to mean population size implies that the spatial structure of the population size within the range of a species may also be a useful predictor of the spatial variation of temporal variability of population size over the range of the species. 3. To explore how population temporal variability varies spatially and the underlying processes responsible for the spatial variation, we focused on the intertidal barnacle Chthamalus dalli and examined differences in its population dynamics along the tidal levels it inhabits. Changes in coverage of barnacle populations were monitored for 10.5 years at 25 plots spanning the elevational range of this species. Data were analysed by fitting a population dynamics model to estimate the effects of density-dependent and density-independent processes on population growth. We also examined the temporal mean-variance relationship of population size with parameters estimated from the population dynamics model. 4. We found that the relative variability of populations tended to increase from the centre of the elevational range towards the margins because of an increase in the magnitude of stochastic fluctuations of growth rates. Thus, our results supported hypothesis (2). We also found that spatial variations in temporal population variability were well characterized by Taylor’s power law, the relative population variability being inversely related to the mean population size. 5. Results suggest that understanding the population dynamics of a species over its range may be facilitated by taking the spatial structure of population size into account as well as by considering changes in population processes as a function of position within the range of the species.

Usage Notes


Northeastern Pacific coast of Japan
Eastern Hokkaido