The effect of conspecific attraction on metapopulation dynamics

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Abstract

Random dispersal direction is assumed in all current metapopulation models. This assumption is called into question by recent experiments demonstrating that some species disperse preferentially to sites occupied by conspecifies. We incorporate conspecific attraction into two metapopulation models which differ in type of dispersal, the Levins model and a two-dimensional stepping-stone model. In both models, conspecific attraction lowers the proportion of occupied habitat patches within a metapopulation at equilibrium.

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