Skip to Main Content
Dispersal polymorphism in an invasive forest pest affects its ability to establishAuthor(s): Christelle Robinet; Andrew M. Liebhold
Source: Ecological Applications 19(7): 1935-1943.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
View PDF (282.39 KB)
DescriptionGiven the increasing number of biological invasions, there is a crucial need to identify life history traits that promote invasion. Invasiveness reflects capabilities for both establishment after introduction and spread following establishment. In this paper, we explore, via simulation, the interacting effects of dispersal and Allee effects on both invasion processes. Dispersal capability is a trait that has been widely recognized to facilitate invasions. However, dispersal dilutes local population densities in isolated populations and this could strengthen Allee effects, ultimately promoting extinction of invading populations. A spatially explicit, stochastic individual-based model was used to simulate dispersal, mating, and growth in isolated, newly arrived invading populations. We used the invasion of North America by the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, as a case study because: (1) a great amount of biological data on the species is available; (2) Allee effects caused by mate location failure are known to play an important role in its establishment and spread; and (3) a dispersal polymorphism has previously been identified (i.e., in some populations adult females are fully capable of flight, but in other populations females are not able to fly). We considered the introduction of a hypothetical number of eggs at a single location, originating from populations with varying female dispersal capabilities, and we then used simulation models to evaluate the population growth rate over two generations as well as spread distance. Nondispersing populations had the highest growth rates and inclusion of even limited dispersal capabilities caused population growth rates to be greatly diminished. The Allee threshold was 700 eggs for nondispersing populations and 1400 eggs for the long-distance dispersing populations. Thus, for an intermediate number of eggs initially introduced, nondispersing populations would most likely establish, whereas dispersing populations would likely become extinct. Spread distance increased linearly with the number of eggs initially introduced in both dispersing and nondispersing populations but rapidly reached a limit for nondispersing populations. Though species capable of long-distance dispersal may invade a larger area than nondispersing species, their growth rates are likely to be considerably lower, and eradication should be easier. Following these results, strategies for managing invasions should be adjusted for the interactions between Allee effects and dispersal.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationRobinet, Christelle; Liebhold, Andrew M. 2009. Dispersal polymorphism in an invasive forest pest affects its ability to establish. Ecological Applications 19(7): 1935-1943.
KeywordsAllee effects, biological invasion, diffusion, dispersal, gypsy moth, individual-based model, Lymantria dispar, mating success, stochasticity
- Long-distance dispersal of the gypsy moth (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) facilitated its initial invasion of Wisconsin
- Invasion speed is affected by geographical variation in the strength of Allee effects
- Growth of newly established alien populations: comparison of North American gypsy moth colonies with invasion theory
XML: View XML