Living Reference Work Entry

The Wetland Book

pp 1-8

Date: Latest Version

Source-Sink Dynamics of Wetlands

  • Tracy A.G. RittenhouseAffiliated withDepartment of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Connecticut Email author 
  • , William E. PetermanAffiliated withSchool of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University Email author 


Source-sink dynamics stem from metapopulation theory, where sources are populations with births exceeding deaths and emigration exceeding immigration, and sinks are populations with deaths exceeding births. Sink populations are sustained by immigration from nearby source populations, and thus functional connectivity among wetlands is key to maintaining source-sink dynamics among wetlands. The wood frog is an example pond-breeding amphibian where source-sink dynamics among wetlands is critical to regional population persistence. We summarize how source-sink dynamics can be inferred from demographics, genetics, and network models. Challenges that remain include identifying source and sink wetlands within natural systems, as well as, incorporating source-sink dynamics into wetland mitigation.


Connectivity Genetics Network models Metapopulations Mitigation wetlands