BioND — Dynamics of Biological Networks

Impact of dispersal on the stability of metapopulations

Eric Tromeur, Lars Rudolf, and Thilo Gross
Journal of Theoretical Biology 392, 1-11, 2016.


Metapopulation stability

Dispersal is a key ecological process that enables local populations to form spatially extended systems called metapopulations. In the present study, we investigate how dispersal affects the linear stability of a general single-species metapopulation model. We discuss both the influence of local within-patch dynamics and the effects of various dispersal behaviours on stability. We find that positive density-dependent dispersal and positive density-dependent settlement are destabilizing dispersal behaviours while negative density-dependent dispersal and negative density-dependent settlement are stabilizing. It is also shown that dispersal has a stabilizing impact on heterogeneous metapopulations that correlates positively with the number of patches and the connectance of metapopulation networks.