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J Theor Biol. 1994 Jan 7;166(1):75-90.

Migration in variable environments: exploring life-history evolution using structured population models.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, CA 94305-5020.


In this paper, we explore the hypothesis that environmental variability favors the evolution of migration. Using the single-locus invasion condition for a novel allele in a variable environment, we derive conditions where increased migration rates between two sites are favored. We find that while there is a strong advantage to migrants entering a resident population with no migration, there is little advantage to migrants entering a population where the residents migrate at a different rate. Instead of an optimal rate of migration, there is a range of favored migration rates. Negative spatial correlation and a population structure including more than two sites accentuate the advantage of migration. Extending this model to include the effects of developmental delay (e.g. seed dormancy or diapause) on the evolution of migration, we find that higher levels of such delay reduce the advantage to migrants.

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