ISSN 1067-4136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2016, Vol. 47, No. 5, pp. 460–466. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2016.
Original Russian Text © L.P. Agulova, N.S. Moskvitina, N.P. Bol’shakova, L.B. Kravchenko, N.V. Ivanova, V.N. Romanenko, 2016, published in Ekologiya, 2016, No. 5, pp. 353–359.
Long-term Dynamics and Correlations of Ecophysiological
Parameters in Murine Rodent Communities
L. P. Agulova, N. S. Moskvitina, N. P. Bol’shakova, L. B. Kravchenko,
N. V. Ivanova, and V. N. Romanenko
Tomsk State National Research University, pr. Lenina 36, Tomsk, 634050 Russia
Received September 24, 2015
Abstract—The dynamics and correlations of ecophysiological parameters have been studied in two spatially
separated multispecies communities of murine rodents and ixodid tick larvae and nymphs that parasitize
them. It has been shown that all the processes under consideration have nonstationary, oscillatory dynamics.
The long-term dynamics of connectivity of ecophysiological characteristics within communities and their
synchronization by weather–climatic factors are, by nature, wavelike processes of transitions between the
states with stronger and weaker linkage between parameters, which, along with nonstationarity, can contrib-
ute to the maintenance of stability and integrity of communities.
Keywords: murine rodent communities, population dynamics, humoral immunity, abundance of ectopara-
sites, environmental factors, plasticity of communities
Various approaches are used in the search of mech-
anisms providing for the stability of biological com-
munities. A promising direction in this field is research
into the role of temporal organization (the system of
interconnected oscillators interacting with each other
and with environmental factors) in the maintenance of
biosystem stability, which is being actively carried out.
The prospects in this direction are good due primarily
to advancements in the theory of oscillations and non-
linear dynamics as applied to solving the problems
concerning synchronization and dynamics of several
interconnected self-maintained oscillators and condi-
tions for the origin of stable spatiotemporal structures
upon their interaction (Pikovskii et al., 2003;
Kuznetsov et al., 2005; Anishchenko et al., 2008).
Success in the development of this research largely
depends on two factors: (1) the accumulation of eco-
logical monitoring data that reflect the diversity of
ecological situation and make it possible to interpret
the essence of processes taking place in nature, and (2)
the choice of adequate mathematical methods for
describing particular tasks.
This study deals with the results of statistical evalu-
ation of the temporal organization of two spatially sep-
arated murine rodent communities inhabiting an area
endemic for tick-borne encephalitis in Tomsk oblast.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Studies were performed in two test plots, one in the
city outskirts (the urban biotope) and the other in the
suburb (the suburban biotope). Characteristics of the
plots were described in detail previously (Moskvitina
et al., 2008). Murine rodent communities in these bio-
topes consisted of 11 and 9 species, respectively. Voles
of the genus Myodes Pallas, 1811 dominated in both
plots, accounting for no less than 20% of the commu-
nity; in the urban biotope, the striped field mouse
(Apodemus agrarius Pallas, 1771) was also dominant.
The proportion of other species varied in different
years from 0.06 to 5%. They included the common
vole (Microtus arvalis Pallas, 1778), root vole (M. oeco-
nomus Pallas, 1776), field vole (M. agrestis L., 1761),
narrow-skulled vole (M. gregalis Pallas, 1779), Korean
field mouse (Apodemus peninsulae Thomas, 1907),
northern birch mouse (Sicista betulina Pallas, 1779),
and house mouse (Mus musculus L., 1758).
Animal trapping and census were performed by the
standard procedure, using live traps (Karaseva et al.,
2008). On the whole, 963 ind. were trapped in the
urban biotope (1999–2013) and 1664 ind. in the sub-
urban biotope (2004–2013). Immediately after trap-
ping, the animals were individually examined to col-
lect tick larvae and nymphs by the conventional
method (Zhmaeva et al., 1964). The role of rodents as
feeding hosts for ticks was estimated from the abun-
dance index (Ia) calculated as the ratio between the