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Understanding the relationship between dispersal and range size
  • Adriana Alzate,
  • Renske Onstein
Adriana Alzate
German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

Corresponding Author:adria.alzate@gmail.com

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Renske Onstein
German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
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Understanding what drives the vast variability in species range size is still an outstanding question. Among the several processes potentially affecting species ranges, dispersal is one of the most prominent hypothesized predictors. However, the theoretical expectation of a positive dispersal-range size relationship has received mixed empirical support. Here, we synthesized results from 84 studies to investigate in which context dispersal is most important in driving species range size. We found that dispersal traits -- proxies for dispersal ability -- explain range sizes more often in temperate and subtropical regions than in tropical regions, when considering multiple components of dispersal, and when investigating a large number of species to capture dispersal and range size variation. In plants, positive effects of dispersal on range size were less often detected when examining broad taxonomic levels. In animals, dispersal is more important for range size increase in ectotherms than in endotherms. Our synthesis emphasizes the importance of considering different aspects of the dispersal process -departure, transfer, settlement-, niche aspects and evolutionary components, like time for range expansion and past geological-environmental dynamics. We therefore call for a more integrative view of the dispersal process and its causal relationship with range size.
14 May 2022Submitted to Ecology Letters
16 May 2022Submission Checks Completed
16 May 2022Assigned to Editor
24 May 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
16 Jun 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
20 Jun 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
30 Jun 20221st Revision Received
30 Jun 2022Submission Checks Completed
30 Jun 2022Assigned to Editor
07 Jul 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
07 Jul 2022Editorial Decision: Accept
24 Aug 2022Published in Ecology Letters. 10.1111/ele.14089