Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am Nat. 2003 Jun;161(6):905-15. Epub 2003 Jun 10.

Foray search: an effective systematic dispersal strategy in fragmented landscapes.

Author information

  • 1Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation, School of Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom.


In the absence of evidence to the contrary, population models generally assume that the dispersal trajectories of animals are random, but systematic dispersal could be more efficient at detecting new habitat and may therefore constitute a more realistic assumption. Here, we investigate, by means of simulations, the properties of a potentially widespread systematic dispersal strategy termed "foray search." Foray search was more efficient in detecting suitable habitat than was random dispersal in most landscapes and was less subject to energetic constraints. However, it also resulted in considerably shorter net dispersed distances and higher mortality per net dispersed distance than did random dispersal, and it would therefore be likely to lead to lower dispersal rates toward the margins of population networks. Consequently, the use of foray search by dispersers could crucially affect the extinction-colonization balance of metapopulations and the evolution of dispersal rates. We conclude that population models need to take the dispersal trajectories of individuals into account in order to make reliable predictions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for University of Chicago Press
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk