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Biol Lett. 2010 August 23; 6(4): 566–569.
Published online 2010 January 27. doi:  10.1098/rsbl.2009.1002
PMCID: PMC2936197

Spatially mismatched trophic dynamics: cyclically outbreaking geometrids and their larval parasitoids


For trophic interactions to generate population cycles and complex spatio-temporal patterns, like travelling waves, the spatial dynamics must be matched across trophic levels. Here, we propose a spatial methodological approach for detecting such spatial match–mismatch and apply it to geometrid moths and their larval parasitoids in northern Norway, where outbreak cycles and travelling waves occur. We found clear evidence of spatial mismatch, suggesting that the spatially patterned moth cycles in this system are probably ruled by trophic interactions involving other agents than larval parasitoids.

Keywords: population cycles, population synchrony, natural enemies, hymenoptera, travelling waves

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