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Critical patch size generated by Allee effect in gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (L.)Author(s): E. Vercken; A.M. Kramer; P.C. Tobin; J.M. Drake
Source: Ecology Letters. 14: 179-186.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
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DescriptionAllee effects are important dynamical mechanisms in small-density populations in which per capita population growth rate increases with density. When positive density dependence is sufficiently severe (a 'strong' Allee effect), a critical density arises below which populations do not persist. For spatially distributed populations subject to dispersal, theory predicts that the occupied area also exhibits a critical threshold for population persistence, but this result has not been confirmed in nature. We tested this prediction in patterns of population persistence across the invasion front of the European gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) in the United States in data collected between 1996 and 2008. Our analysis consistently provided evidence for effects of both population area and density on persistence, as predicted by the general theory, and confirmed here using a mechanistic model developed for the gypsy moth system. We believe this study to be the first empirical documentation of critical patch size induced by an Allee effect.
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CitationVercken, E.; Kramer, A.M.; Tobin, P.C.; Drake, J.M. 2011. Critical patch size generated by Allee effect in gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (L.). Ecology Letters. 14: 179-186.
KeywordsAllee effect, critical area, dispersal, extinction, generalized additive models, gypsy moth, invasion, reaction-diffusion, Voronoi tessellation
- The role of Allee effects in gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (L.), invasions
- Persistence of invading gypsy moth populations in the United States
- Effects of temperature on development of Lymantria dispar asiatica and Lymantria dispar japonica (Lepidoptera: Erebidae)
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