Do southern snowshoe hare populations cycle, or simply fluctuate irregularly?
Murray, Dennis *,1, Steury, Todd2, 1 Dept. Biology, Peterborough, ON, CANADA2 Dept. Biology, St. Louis, MO, USA ABSTRACT- Snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) populations across the boreal forest in Canada and Alaska undergo 9-11 year cycles in abundance due mainly to time-delayed predation by specialist predators. The occurrence of cyclic dynamics among southern hare populations in southern Canada and northern United States, where specialist predators are rare and generalists are common, has not been tested rigorously. If hare cycles occur at lower latitudes, a comparison of timeseries between northern and southern populations should reveal consistently: i) high process order representing time-delayed density-dependence, ii) strong propensity for trajectory divergence indicating numerical instability, and iii) similar spectral peaks, amplitudes, and periods. Timeseries analysis of all available hare harvest data revealed slightly lower process order, less trajectory divergence, and fewer