Dispersal functions and spatial models: expanding our dispersal toolbox


Justin M.J. Travis Climate Impacts Group, Plant Ecology, Department of Ecology, Ecology Building, University of Lund, SE-223 62 LUND, Sweden.E-mail: justin.travis@planteco.lu.se


A brief review of recent metapopulation literature indicates that dispersal functions are generally highly simplified. We suggest that this oversight can often make the results of such models misleading. A number of factors are considered that can affect the patterns and functions of this potentially complex process, including conditional and “intel-ligent” dispersal, and dispersal distance. If a system is to be considered in spatially explicit terms then dispersal is an essential component. It follows therefore that a more thorough consideration of this fundamental population process is to be encouraged.