• Migration;
  • Geographic distance;
  • Population size;
  • Density-dependence


A model is developed that treats migration rates among populations as a function of the geographic distance between them and the size of both sources and recipient population. Specifically, mij/mjj = a(Ni/Nj)pe−bd, where mij/mjj is the relative migration rate into population j from population i, Ni is the size of the source population, Nj is the size of the recipient population, d is the geographic distance between populations i and j,p is a measure of differential density-dependence, b is a measure of distance decay, and a is an adjustment parameter with little demographic meaning. Methods of parameter estimation and hypothesis testing using maximum likelihood are outlined. These methods are applied to migration matrix data from 13 samples obtained from the literature representing a wide range of ecological settings. All samples show a significant effect of geographic distance on migration, and all but one show a significant effect of differential population size. All but one sample show an overall tendency for migration to be negative density-dependent; that is, the relative migration rate is greater from larger populations to smaller populations than the reverse. © 1992 Wiley-Liss, Inc. © 1992 Wiley-Liss, Inc.