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Dispersal: key to eco-evolutionary dynamics in populations and communities
Department of Biology Ghent University, Belgium - email@example.com
(Seminar in English)
Dispersal, the movement of organism from their place of birth to their location of reproduction, is an essential trait in life history and tightly coupled to fitness. A thorough understanding of both the ecological and evolutionary causes and consequences can therefore only be achieved by putting the fitness concept central. I will first outline this theoretical framework and provide insights on how individuals can achieve an optimal dispersal strategy, and why optimal strategies are different among individuals. Next, I will provide a selection of empirical and theoretical examples that demonstrate the consequences of (evolved) changes in dispersal on both metapopulation- and metacommunity dynamics. By closely matching empiricism with theoretical predictions, I will be able to pinpoint why current theory fails in advancing the field of movement ecology towards a predictive discipline in spatial ecology.
Bonte, D., De Roissart, A., Wybouw, N. & Van Leeuwen, T. (2014). Fitness maximization by dispersal: evidence from an invasion experiment. Ecology 95: 3104-3111
Van Petegem, K., Moerman, F., Dahirel, M., Fronhofer, E., M. Vandegehuchte, N. Wybouw, T. Van Leeuwen, Stoks, R. & Bonte, D. (2018). Kin competition accelerates range expansion in an arthropod herbivore. Ecology Letters 21: 225-234
Hillaert, J., Vandegehuchte, M., Hovestadt, T. & Bonte, D. (2018). Information use during movement regulates how fragmentation and loss of habitat affect body size. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B.