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Grand Teton National Park Report

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Multiannual fluctuations ("cycles") in population density of small rodents doubtless result from the interaction of a multitude of factors, as evidenced by the variety of hypotheses proposed to explain the phenomenon (for reviews see Finerty 1980, Taitt and Krebs 1985). However, the inability of these hypotheses - alone or in combination - to explain the causality of cycles rests in no small measure with the fact that long-term studies of the phenomenon are notoriously uncommon. The objectives of this project are to continue a long-term study of the population dynamics of the montane vole, Microtus montanus, in Grand Teton National Park. On the basis of earlier observations (Pinter 1986, 1988) particular emphasis will be placed on how environmental variables, possibly acting through reproductive responses, contribute to the population density cycles of these rodents.