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Theor Popul Biol. 2004 Nov;66(3):205-18.

Competition between near and far dispersers in spatially structured habitats.

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  • 1Department of Mathematics and Statistics, 5752 Neville Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5752, USA.


Competitive interactions and invasibility between short- and long-distance dispersal was investigated in a population on a heterogeneous landscape with spatial correlations in habitat types, and where the driving interaction between individuals is competition for space. Stochastic spatially explicit simulations were used, along with differential equation models based on pair approximations. Conditions under which either dispersal strategy can successfully invade the other were determined, as a function of the amount and clustering of suitable habitat and the relative costs involved in the two dispersal strategies. Long-distance dispersal, which reduces intraspecific competition, is sometimes advantageous even where aggregation of suitable habitat would otherwise favor short-distance dispersal, although certain habitat distributions can lead to either strategy being dominant. Coexistence is also possible on some landscapes, where the spatial structure of the populations partitions suitable sites according to the number of suitable neighboring sites. Mutual competitive exclusion, where whichever strategy is established first cannot be invaded, is also possible. All of these results are observed even when there is no intrinsic difference in the two strategies' costs, such as mortality or competitive abilities.

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