Effects of asymmetric dispersal on the coexistence of competing species

Salomon, Yacov, Connolly, Sean R., and Bode, Lance (2010) Effects of asymmetric dispersal on the coexistence of competing species. Ecology Letters, 13 (4). pp. 432-441.

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The global biodiversity crisis has made a priority of understanding biodiversity maintenance in ecological communities. It is increasingly apparent that dispersal patterns can have important effects on such maintenance processes. Nevertheless, most competition theory has focused on a small subset of the possible dispersal patterns in nature. Here, we show that spatially asymmetric dispersal, i.e. the disproportionate transport of propagules towards or away from particular habitat patches in a metacommunity, when it differs between species, can promote the coexistence of competing species even in the absence of environmental heterogeneity among habitat patches. Moreover, when asymmetric dispersal is present, changes in the self-recruitment of competitive dominants and subordinates have important, but fundamentally different, effects on species coexistence. Our results underscore the importance of the interplay between species interactions and dispersal patterns for understanding the effects of habitat fragmentation and for designing regional-scale conservation strategies, such as networks of protected areas.

Item ID: 16355
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1461-0248
Keywords: asymmetry; coexistence mechanism; connectivity matrix; dispersal networks; self-recruitment; species competition
Date Deposited: 05 May 2011 09:13
FoR Codes: 01 MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES > 0102 Applied Mathematics > 010202 Biological Mathematics @ 20%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology) @ 80%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
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