Prevention of population cycles by parasite removal

Peter J. Hudson, Andrew P. Dobson, Dave Newborn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

626 Scopus citations

Abstract

The regular cyclic fluctuations in vertebrate numbers have intrigued scientists for more than 70 years, and yet the cause of such cycles has not been clearly demonstrated. Red grouse populations in Britain exhibit cyclic fluctuations in abundance, with periodic crashes. The hypothesis that these fluctuations are caused by the impact of a nematode parasite on host fecundity was tested by experimentally reducing parasite burdens in grouse. Treatment of the grouse population prevented population crashes, demonstrating that parasites were the cause of the cyclic fluctuations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2256-2258
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume282
Issue number5397
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 18 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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