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Scale-dependent spatial population dynamics of gall-makers on oak


Robert Biedermann, Landscape Ecology Group, Institute of Biology and Environmental Sciences, University of Oldenburg, 26111 Oldenburg, Germany. Email:


The patterns of synchrony in the population fluctuations of six species of gall-makers on oak (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae and Diptera, Cecidomyiidae) were analyzed over a small-scale transect (8 km) and a large-scale transect (500 km). Gall-maker species differed in their degree of synchrony. At the small scale some species showed synchrony among local sites, whereas at the large scale, with one exception, population fluctuations of all species were largely independent. The patterns of synchrony differed between the two spatial scales. At the small scale a considerable degree of synchrony was found among sites for two species, Cynips divisa and Neuroterus quercusbaccarum, whereas at the large scale no synchrony was seen for these species. For one species, Macrodiplosis volvens, the fluctuations were asynchronous at both the small and large scales. At the large scale, synchrony among sites was found for one species: the fluctuations of Neuroterus anthracinus were largely synchronous at both scales (i.e. over several hundred kilometers). Distance-dependent synchronies (i.e. decreasing synchrony with increasing distance) were found for only one species, Neuroterus anthracinus. In summary, the levels of synchrony in the population fluctuations of these insects differed among species and were scale-dependent. Scaling up from the small scale to the large scale does not seem appropriate.