Estimating postnatal dispersal: Tracking the unseen dispersers

Derek M. Johnson, Carol C Horvitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Postnatal dispersal, defined as dispersal from the natal patch soon after reaching maturity, is common in a variety of insect species. Postnatal dispersal may increase connections among subpopulations and, thus, significantly affect local population dynamics in metapopulation and source-sink contexts. Yet most mark-recapture studies of insects miss the postnatal dispersal phase because it comes soon after eclosion. Cephaloleia fenestrata (Chrysomelidae) is a specialist herbivore of the rolled leaves of Pleiostachya pruinosa (Marantaceae, common name "prayer plant"). Some P. pruinosa patches were flooded prior to the onset of this study, extirpating the majority of C. fenestrata in the flood zone and providing a natural experiment and an opportunity to observe recolonization dynamics. We built a spatially explicit population projection matrix model to simulate spatial population dynamics of C. fenestrata. The model was a poor fit to the empirical data. Adding postnatal dispersal to the model resulted in a much better model fit. This study suggests that 81% of C. fenestrata disperse from the natal site soon after eclosion. Model simulations indicated that postnatal dispersal increases the mean population size in the flood zone more than six-fold and the standard deviation more than three-fold. Herein we present an implicit method of estimating postnatal dispersal when marking animals before the postnatal dispersal phase is problematic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1185-1190
Number of pages6
JournalEcology
Volume86
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2005

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Maranta leuconeura
eclosion
population dynamics
Marantaceae
animal identification
insects
mark-recapture studies
common names
Chrysomelidae
simulation models
population size
herbivores
insect
fold
metapopulation
recolonization
subpopulation
leaves
herbivore
matrix

Keywords

  • Cephaloleia fenestrata
  • Chrysomelidae
  • Emigration
  • Flooding
  • Hispinae
  • Immigration
  • Population projection matrix model
  • Postnatal dispersal
  • Source-sink dynamic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Estimating postnatal dispersal : Tracking the unseen dispersers. / Johnson, Derek M.; Horvitz, Carol C.

In: Ecology, Vol. 86, No. 5, 01.05.2005, p. 1185-1190.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Johnson, Derek M. ; Horvitz, Carol C. / Estimating postnatal dispersal : Tracking the unseen dispersers. In: Ecology. 2005 ; Vol. 86, No. 5. pp. 1185-1190.
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