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Non-random dispersal in the butterfly Maniola jurtina: implications for metapopulation models

Conradt, L, Bodsworth, E J, Roper, T J and Thomas, C D (2000) Non-random dispersal in the butterfly Maniola jurtina: implications for metapopulation models. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. pp. 1505-1510. ISSN 1471-2954

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Abstract

The dispersal patterns of animals are important in metapopulation ecology because they affect the dynamics and survival of populations. Theoretical models assume random dispersal but little is known in practice about the dispersal behaviour of individual animals or the strategy by which dispersers locate distant habitat patches. In the present study, we released individual meadow brown butterflies (Maniola jurtina) in a non-habitat and investigated their ability to return to a suitable habitat. The results provided three reasons for supposing that meadow brown butterflies do not seek habitat by means of random flight. First, when released within the range of their normal dispersal distances, the butterflies orientated towards suitable habitat at a higher rate than expected at random. Second, when released at larger distances from their habitat, they used a non-random, systematic, search strategy in which they flew in loops around the release point and returned periodically to it. Third, butterflies returned to a familiar habitat patch rather than a non-familiar one when given a choice. If dispersers actively orientate towards or search systematically for distant habitat, this may be problematic for existing metapopulation models, including models of the evolution of dispersal rates in metapopulations.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2000 The Royal Society. Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: correlated random walk, incidence function model, metapopulation viability, non-random dispersal, systematic search, BEHAVIOR, HABITAT, DYNAMICS, INSECT, SEARCH
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Biology (York)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2014 18:52
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2000.1171
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1298

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