The role of asymmetric dispersal in metapopulations
Conference poster, 2009
Metapopulations consist of a number of sub-populations connected
through the dispersal of migrants. In many theoretical approaches
often rather simple dispersal patterns are investigated, while
typically complex dispersal patterns are observed in nature. This
especially is the case for larvae dispersal in marine environments
driven by ocean currents.
In a recent work Vuilleumier and Possingham investigate the role of
symmetry in dispersal patterns and draw the conclusion, that
asymmetric dispersal has a distinct negative impact on population
viability. Our results based on artificial dispersal patterns,
however, suggest that symmetry actually only could have a vanishing
impact. The simulation results are in good agreement with tests on
realistic dispersal patterns of mussel larvae in the Baltic Sea.
We demonstrate the importance of artificially generated dispersal
patterns for the disentanglement of the complexity intrinsic to
natural systems. Although many aspects of larvae dispersal might not
yet have been understood we can draw the conclusion, that asymmetry
might not be as severe as expected by Vuilleumier and Possingham. That
is of course good news for many systems of biological relevance.