Spread rates on fragmented landscapes: the interacting roles of demography, dispersal and habitat availability

Ceres Barros, Stephen C F Palmer, Greta Bocedi, Justin M J Travis

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14 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


We still lack a comprehensive understanding of the relative importance of demographic, dispersal and landscape characteristics on species’ rates of range expansion (RRE) and on how these factors interact. Here, we provide an analysis of these effects for passive dispersers, by investigating how habitat characteristics, such as habitat quality, availability and fragmentation, interplay with species’ dispersal characteristics in determining species’ RRE. In addition, we assessed the predictability of RRE in cases where we have the knowledge of a species’ demography, dispersal and habitat availability.

Using the newly available individual-based modelling platform, RangeShifter we simulated the range expansion of species with different dispersal abilities, by varying mean dispersal distance and number of emigrants, on various landscapes. Landscapes varied in habitat quality (in terms of carrying capacity and species’ growth rates) and in habitat availability (in terms of the proportion of suitable habitat and its degree of fragmentation).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1266-1275
Number of pages10
JournalDiversity and Distributions
Issue number12
Early online date21 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the award of the Natural Environment Research Council grant NE/J008001/1 to JMJT.


  • dispersal
  • habitat fragmentation
  • habitat quality
  • range expansion
  • spatially explicit
  • individual-based model


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