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1. To quantify the interactions between density-dependent, population regulation and density-independent limitation, we studied the time-series dynamics of an experimental laboratory insect microcosm system in which both environmental noise and resource limitation were manipulated. 2. A hierarchical Bayesian state-space approach is presented through which it is feasible to capture all sources of uncertainty, including observation error to accurately quantify the density dependence operating on the dynamics. 3. The regulatory processes underpinning the dynamics of two different bruchid beetles (Callosobruchus maculatus and Callosobruchus chinensis) are principally determined by environmental conditions, with fluctuations in abundance explained in terms of changes in overcompensatory dynamics and stochastic processes. 4. A general, stochastic population model is developed to explore the link between abundance fluctuations and the interaction between density dependence and noise. Taking account of time-lags in population regulation can substantially increase predicted population fluctuations resulting from underlying noise processes.

Original publication




Journal article


J Anim Ecol

Publication Date





1296 - 1305


Animals, Coleoptera, Ecosystem, Population Dynamics, Stochastic Processes