Animal Ecology To-Day

By F. S. Bodenheimer; W. W. Weisbach | Go to book overview

NOTES
note a) to p. 12. Excepted are, of course, to some degree individuals from the same egg, such as identical twins in man, or the 6 to 9 individuals born from one egg in Tatusia, etc.
note b) to p. 92. Just as these lines are in press some locust workers have begun to work already on a new line of thought. They agree that no fixed permanent breeding grounds exist. But they point out in detail that the weather and the ecotones of vegetation along both margins of the Red Sea show such variability that almost always an opportunity is found which is suitable for increase, aggregation and gregarization of locust swarms. Thus no fixed localities, but a definite region is regarded by them tentatively as a permanent centre of the Desert Locust. Future will show, if this Red Sea Region is really of vital permanent epidemiological importance in locust outbreaks, or if it is just a region where smaller or larger outbreak centres of the locust may occasionally appear.
note c) to p. 127. In the mean time A. J. NICHOLSON ( Ann. Rev. Entom. 3. 1958 p. 107-136) has given a comprehensive review on dynamics of insect populations. We quote the end of this authoritative statement: "There is voluminous field evidence of density-induced environmental reaction which opposes population growth with increasing intensity as populations increase in size, and there are many individual examples, both in the field and in the laboratory, of populations which undoubtedly adjust themselves to their environments by inducing such reaction. In addition, logical deduction from certain well established facts has shown that density-induced governing reaction must necessarily play this role of adjustment in each persistent population."

We have always accepted this conclusion; we also accepted under NICHOLSON'S influence the theory that every animal population is always in a state of "balance" with its environmental capacities. But we have robbed this ambigous term of its density-dependent interpretation. The animal population as long as it is on the lower level is not dependent upon a density as the regulatory factor. This partial acceptance of the mathematical self regulatory theory on its high population level (see fig. 21 B) is all with which we can agree and we remain -- we are sorry to conless it -- for the lower part of the cycle in a "chaos", as we have so far no general interpretation for its trends there. In animal populations of lake and sea ( RICKER), and, if we accept the general concept of adaptation of ERRINGTON, in mammals and birds, we see a first hope of interpretations which are not those of a biomathematical "cycle". In insects, inspite of VARLEY's analysis of Urophora (compare the recent critic of MILNE), we are still far from any such interpretation.

note d) to p. 138. While reading the proofs, we saw a study by A. MILNE ( Canad. Entom. 1957 p. 1.93) on "Natural Control of Insect Populations", with which we largely agree, even if he attacks where synthesis is desirable. His main contribution is a thorough analysis of the results of VARLEY and of the rather primitive methods still applied by the Riverside School. He shows that in the 1935/36 generation of Urophora the cause of death of 40% is unknown, thus nullifying the claim that the density dependence-mechanism is fully adequate. A further detailed analysis of the mathematical procedure shows that the decisive mathematical symbols are neither precisely defined nor always fixed in an unequivocal way. Further no sampling errors are given. If these had been applied the "reliability" of the calculations would have been reduced beyond any bounds of proof. MILNE'S criticisms are doubtless justified, he has, however, not proved, that VARLEY's conclusions are wrong. They do anyhow show what a high degree of qualifications is needed in order to enable a complete population analysis to be carried out. We think it obvious that scarcely any individual wil be able to perform such analysis, taking all factors into conside-

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