, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 623-631
Date: 16 Jul 2005

Integrating internal and external dispersal in metacommunity assembly: preliminary theoretical analyses

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Internal dispersal, which occurs among local communities within a metacommunity, and external dispersal, which supplies immigrants from outside the metacommunity, can both have a major impact on species diversity. However, few studies have considered the two simultaneously. Here I report preliminary computer-simulation results to suggest that internal and external dispersal can interact to influence species richness. Specifically, the results show that internal dispersal did not affect species richness under frequent external dispersal, whereas it enhanced richness in local communities while decreasing richness in metacommunities under infrequent external dispersal. Conversely, external dispersal influenced species richness in local communities more greatly in the absence of internal dispersal than in its presence, while external dispersal did not affect richness in metacommunities regardless of internal dispersal. Furthermore, internal and external dispersal interactively determined the importance of community assembly history in generating and maintaining variation in local community structure. Overall, these results suggest that the two dispersal types can reciprocally provide the context in which each affects species diversity and therefore that their effects cannot be understood in isolation of the other.

Tadashi Fukami is the recipient of the ninth Denzaburo Miyadi Award.