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Developing mathematical theories of the physical world: Open Access research on fluid dynamics from Strathclyde

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A simple mechanism for population cycles

Nisbet, R.M. and Gurney, William (1976) A simple mechanism for population cycles. Nature, 263 (5575). pp. 319-320. ISSN 0028-0836

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Abstract

Although most animal populations exhibit irregular fluctuations, there has long been considerable interest in the dynamics of populations which seem to fluctuate in a cyclic manner with a period different from that of obvious environmental ‘drivers’. We have analysed possible models of the mechanisms underlying the regulation of populations in order to simplify the extraction of useful information from specific cases of population oscillation.