, Volume 105, Issue 4, pp 475–483

Effects of population subdivision and catastrophes on the persistence of a land snail metapopulation


  • H. Reşit Akçakaya
    • Applied Biomathematics
  • Bruno Baur
    • Zoology InstituteUniversity of Basel
Population Ecology Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/BF00330010

Cite this article as:
Akçakaya, H.R. & Baur, B. Oecologia (1996) 105: 475. doi:10.1007/BF00330010


We modeled the dynamics of a metapopulation of the land snail Arianta arbustorum in north-eastern Switzerland to investigate the effect of population subdivision on the persistence of a land snail metapopulation and to analyze the interaction between spatial factors, population subdivision, and catastrophes. We developed a spatially structured, stochastic, age-structured metapopulation model with field data from previous studies on the metapopulation in Switzerland and experimental and meteorological data. The model incorporated distance-dependent dispersal through stream banks, correlated environmental fluctuations, and catastrophes resulting from heavy rains. The results point to various complex interactions among factors involved in metapopulation dynamics and suggest that in some cases population subdivision may act to decrease threats from environmental fluctuations and catastrophes.

Key words

Metapopulation modelSimulationExtinctionSpatial structureCatastrophes

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996