CR 34:83-89 (2007)  -  doi:10.3354/cr034083

Factors affecting hare–lynx dynamics in the classic time series of the Hudson Bay Company, Canada

Zhibin Zhang1,*, Yi Tao2, Zhenqing Li3

1State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management on Pest Insects and Rodents in Agriculture, Institute of Zoology, and
2Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, PR China
3Laboratory of Quantitative Vegetation Ecology, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, PR China

ABSTRACT: The 10 yr hare–lynx (Lepus americanusLynx canadensis) cycles in boreal forest of North America have been well known for >100 yr, but the underlying mechanism is still not fully understood. Prey–predator interactions are generally thought to be the major causative factor for the cycle. The effect of climate on the hare–lynx cycle has been largely ignored. By using partial cross correlation and stepwise multiple regression methods, we re-analyzed the Hudson Bay Company’s well known hare–lynx time series (1847–1903), to evaluate effects of intrinsic self-regulation, prey–predator interactions and El Niño/ Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on hare–lynx dynamics. Our results clearly indicate that the widely cited classic hare–lynx dynamic is mostly explained by intrinsic self-regulation factors, instead of by prey–predator interaction; ENSO has small effects on rates of increase in hare and lynx populations.

Snow hare · Lepus americanus · Canadian lynx · Lynx canadensis · PreyƐpredator interaction · ENSO · SOI · Population outbreaks · Self-regulation

Full text in pdf format