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Theoretical Ecology

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 105–117 | Cite as

Conditional dispersal, clines, and the evolution of dispersiveness

  • Paul R. ArmsworthEmail author
Original paper

Abstract

Conditional dispersal, in which an individual’s decision over whether to disperse is a response to environmental conditions, features prominently in studies of dispersal evolution. Using models of clines, I examine how one widely discussed cost of dispersal, namely, that dispersal impedes local adaptation, changes with conditional dispersal and what this implies for dispersal evolution. I examine the consequences for dispersal evolution of the responsiveness of dispersal to the environment, the accuracy of any proximal cues that individuals rely upon to assess habitat quality, and whether dispersal responds to fitness itself or only to some fitness components (juvenile survivorship). All of the conditional dispersal behaviors that I consider weaken the indirect cost of dispersal inhibiting local adaptation. However, if individuals rely on imprecise cues to assess habitat quality and base dispersal decisions on juvenile survivorship, then conditional dispersal can incur additional costs by exacerbating overcrowding. Conditional dispersal initially leads to steeper clines in traits under direct selection, but when dispersiveness can itself evolve, conditional dispersal allows sigmoidal clines to persist long after those obtained with unconditional movement would become stepped.

Keywords

Conditional dispersal Fitness dependent dispersal Cline Hybrid zone Evolution of dispersal Local adaptation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to many colleagues in the Departments of Animal and Plant Sciences in Sheffield and Biological Sciences in Stanford, particularly J. Roughgarden, for helpful suggestions and discussions.

Supplementary material

12080_2008_32_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (27 kb)
(PDF 26.6 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal and Plant SciencesUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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