Evol Ecol Res 8: 529-541 (2006)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Patchy disturbance favours longer dispersal distance

A.S. Kallimanis,1* W.E. Kunin,2 J.M. Halley1 and S.P. Sgardelis1

1Department of Ecology, UPB 119, Aristotle University, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece and 2School of Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: kalliman@bio.auth.gr


Question: How does the spatial pattern of habitat disturbance and availability affect the selection of dispersal distance?

Modelling approach: We use an individual-based simulation model. By looking at the outcome of competition between individuals using different dispersal distances, the model simulates the selection of dispersal distance. Both habitat and disturbance are spatially structured and can range from a purely random pattern, through a fractal to complete aggregation (a solid block).

Conclusions: The disturbance regime affects the selection of dispersal distance more strongly than landscape pattern does. Spatial aggregation of disturbance favours the selection of longer dispersal distances. Lower habitat availability favours shorter dispersal distances. When disturbance is not highly autocorrelated, aggregation of suitable habitat favours shorter dispersal distances.

Keywords: fractals, population model, simulations, spatial autocorrelation.

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