Evol Ecol Res 3: 649-665 (2001)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

The evolution of dispersal in spatially varying environments

James M. Greenwood-Lee and Peter D. Taylor

Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: taylorp@post.queensu.ca


We consider the evolution of dispersal in an environment that varies spatially but that is constant in time. We allow an age structure with dispersal possible in all life-stages. We suppose that demes are large enough that kin effects can be ignored. It has previously been shown that cost-free dispersal can persist over evolutionary time. However, several studies have shown that costly dispersal must in general be selected against. Here, we establish a fundamental result about stage-structured populations with stage-specific dispersal rates – that is, at evolutionary equilibrium, over each time step, the total reproductive value of the emigrants leaving each deme must equal the total reproductive value of the immigrants entering that deme. A simple consequence of this principle is that, if migration is restricted to a single stage – the same stage for all demes – then costly dispersal cannot evolve. Another corollary is that, with a ‘sequential’ age structure, over a complete life-cycle, the proportionate flow of genes out of a deme must equal the flow in. Finally, we present an example to show that dispersal may be evolutionarily stable, even when costly, if individuals can disperse more than once during their life-cycle.

Keywords: dispersal, dynamics, evolutionary stability, gene flow, spatial heterogeneity.

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        © 2001 Peter D. Taylor. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.

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