Time-invariant and stochastic disperser-structured matrix models: Invasion rates of fleshy-fruited exotic shrubs

Carol C. Horvitz, Anthony L. Koop, Kelley D. Erickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Interest in spatial population dynamics includes applications to the spread of disease and invasive species. Recently, models for structured populations have been extended to incorporate temporal variation in both demography and dispersal. Here we propose a novel version of the model that incorporates structured dispersal to evaluate how changes in the relative proportion of mammalian, and short- and long-distance avian dispersers affect the rate of spread of an invasive shrub, Ardisia elliptica in Everglades National Park. We implemented 45 time-invariant models, including one in which a single dispersal kernel was estimated from field data by pooling all seedlings, and 44 that were disperser-structured in which dispersal kernels were estimated separately for gravity-, catbird-, robin- and raccoon-dispersed seed. Robins, the longest distance dispersers, are infrequent. Finally we implemented a timevarying model that included variability among years in the proportion of seeds that were taken by robins. The models estimated invasion speeds that ranged from 3.9 to 34.7 m yr-1. Infrequent long-distance dispersal by robins were important in determining invasion speed in the disperser-structured model. Comparing model projections with the (historically) known rate of spread, we show how a model that stratifies seeds by dispersal agents does better than one that ignores them, although all of our models underestimate it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1639-1662
Number of pages24
JournalDiscrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems - Series B
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Ardisia elliptica
  • Biological invasions
  • Dispersal kernel
  • Everglades National Park
  • Florida
  • Integrodifference equation
  • Invasion rate
  • Matrix models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics
  • Applied Mathematics


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