Online citations, reference lists, and bibliographies.
← Back to Search

The Relationship Between Dispersal Ability And Geographic Range Size.

S. Lester, B. Ruttenberg, S. Gaines, B. Kinlan
Published 2007 · Biology, Medicine

Save to my Library
Download PDF
Analyze on Scholarcy Visualize in Litmaps
Share
Reduce the time it takes to create your bibliography by a factor of 10 by using the world’s favourite reference manager
Time to take this seriously.
Get Citationsy
There are a variety of proposed evolutionary and ecological explanations for why some species have more extensive geographical ranges than others. One of the most common explanations is variation in species' dispersal ability. However, the purported relationship between dispersal distance and range size has been subjected to few theoretical investigations, and empirical tests reach conflicting conclusions. We attempt to reconcile the equivocal results of previous studies by reviewing and synthesizing quantitative dispersal data, examining the relationship between average dispersal ability and range size for different spatial scales, regions and taxonomic groups. We use extensive data from marine taxa whose average dispersal varies by seven orders of magnitude. Our results suggest dispersal is not a general determinant of range size, but can play an important role in some circumstances. We also review the mechanistic theories proposed to explain a positive relationship between range size and dispersal and explore their underlying rationales and supporting or refuting evidence. Despite numerous studies assuming a priori that dispersal influences range size, this is the first comprehensive conceptual evaluation of these ideas. Overall, our results indicate that although dispersal can be an important process moderating species' distributions, increased attention should be paid to other processes responsible for range size variation.
This paper references
Isolation by Distance.
S. Wright (1943)
10.1093/BESA/15.3.237
Some Demographic and Genetic Consequences of Environmental Heterogeneity for Biological Control
R. Levins (1969)
10.1111/J.1502-3931.1974.TB00899.X
Larval ecology of prosobranch gastropods and its bearing on biogeography and paleontology
T. Shuto (1974)
10.1016/0040-5809(75)90033-7
Heterozygosity and relationship in regularly subdivided populations.
G. Malecot (1975)
10.2307/1935620
Turnover Rates in Insular Biogeography: Effect of Immigration on Extinction
J. Brown (1977)
10.1017/S0094837300006758
Influence of larval dispersal and geographic distribution on species longevity in neogastropods
T. Hansen (1980)
10.1017/S0094837300006746
Bivalve species duration, areal extent and population size in a Cretaceous sea
C. F. Koch (1980)
BODY SIZE, DISPERSAL ABILITY, AND RANGE SIZE IN NORTH AMERICAN SPECIES OF BRACHINUS (COLEOPTERA: CARABIDAE)
S. Juliano (1983)
10.1126/science.220.4596.501
Modes of Larval Development and Rates of Speciation in Early Tertiary Neogastropods
T. Hansen (1983)
10.1146/ANNUREV.ES.16.110185.002141
Gene Flow in Natural Populations
M. Slatkin (1985)
10.1017/S0094837300011416
Biogeography and paleobiology
D. Jablonski (1985)
10.3354/MEPS025169
Floating and algal rafting as potential dispersal mechanisms in brooding invertebrates
R. Highsmith (1985)
Larval dispersal and geographic distribution in coral reef gastropods of the genus Conus
F E Perron (1985)
Pelagic duration, dispersal and the distribution of Indo-Pacific coral reef fishes
E B Brothers (1985)
10.1017/S0094837300003006
Population size extinction and speciation the fission effect in neogene bivalvia
S. Stanley (1986)
Larval ecology and macroevolution in marine invertebrates
D. Jablonski (1986)
10.1126/science.238.4825.360
Heritability at the Species Level: Analysis of Geographic Ranges of Cretaceous Mollusks
D. Jablonski (1987)
10.1007/BF00392558
The paradox of Rockall: why is a brooding gastropod (Littorina saxatilis) more widespread than one having a planktonic larval dispersal stage (L. littorea)?
K. Johannesson (1988)
10.1017/S0094837300011970
Macroevolutionary differences between the two major clades of Neogene planktonic foraminifera
S. Stanley (1988)
10.1007/BF00541659
Planktonic larval duration of one hundred species of Pacific and Atlantic damselfishes (Pomacentridae)
G. Wellington (1989)
10.1086/284912
The Habitat Volumes of Scarce and Ubiquitous Plants: A Test of the Model of Environmental Control
M. Burgman (1989)
10.1086/284913
The Latitudinal Gradient in Geographical Range: How so Many Species Coexist in the Tropics
G. Stevens (1989)
Planktonic and non-planktonic development among prosobranch gastropods and its relationship to the geographic range of species
R S Scheltema (1989)
Planktonic and nonplanktonic development among prosobranch gastropods and its relationship to the geographic range of species
R. S. Scheltema (1989)
RANGE LIMITS AND DISPERSAL OF MOLLUSKS IN THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA
G. Vermeij (1990)
10.1086/285249
Metapopulation Models: The Rescue Effect, the Propagule Rain, and the Core-Satellite Hypothesis
N. Gotelli (1991)
10.1016/B978-0-08-092551-6.50014-3
CHAPTER 9 – Settlement Strategies and Biogeography of Reef Fishes
B. Victor (1991)
10.1016/0169-5347(92)90047-F
Flightlessness in insects.
D. Wagner (1992)
10.1016/0169-5347(92)90144-Z
Marine speciation on a small planet.
S. Palumbi (1992)
10.2307/2845727
Geographic ranges of plant species in relation to dispersal morphology, growth form and diaspore weight
M. Oakwood (1993)
10.1111/j.1558-5646.1993.tb01215.x
ISOLATION BY DISTANCE IN EQUILIBRIUM AND NON‐EQUILIBRIUM POPULATIONS
M. Slatkin (1993)
Three explanations of the positive relationship between distribution and abundance of species
I. Hanski (1993)
Three explanations of the positive relationship between distribution and abundance of species. In: Species Diversity in Ecological Communities: Historical and Geographical Perspectives
I Hanski (1993)
10.1086/285697
Energy Conservation and the Evolution of Flightlessness in Birds
B. McNab (1994)
10.1111/J.1502-3931.1994.TB01577.X
Relationship between species longevity and larval ecology in nassariid gastropods
C. Gili (1994)
10.1111/j.1558-5646.1995.tb02280.x
DEVELOPMENTAL MODE AND SPECIES GEOGRAPHIC RANGE IN REGULAR SEA URCHINS (ECHINODERMATA: ECHINOIDEA)
R. Emlet (1995)
10.1146/ANNUREV.ECOLSYS.27.1.597
THE GEOGRAPHIC RANGE: Size, Shape, Boundaries, and Internal Structure
J. H. Brown (1996)
10.1046/J.1365-2699.1996.00034.X
Reserve mass and dispersal investment in relation to geographic range of plant species: phylogenetically independent contrasts
W. Edwards (1996)
10.1016/S0022-0981(96)02645-7
Population genetics of marine species: the interaction of natural selection and historically differentiated populations
T. J. Hilbish (1996)
10.1016/0169-5347(96)10027-6
Species-range-size distributions: patterns, mechanisms and implications.
K. Gaston (1996)
10.1146/ANNUREV.ECOLSYS.27.1.237
EVOLUTIONARY SIGNIFICANCE OF LOCAL GENETIC DIFFERENTIATION IN PLANTS
Y. Linhart (1996)
Species - rangesize distributions : patterns , mechanisms and implications
K. J. Gaston (1996)
10.1086/286054
Evolution of a Species' Range
M. Kirkpatrick (1997)
10.1007/s004420050181
Role of dispersal ability in the phenotypic differentiation and plasticity of two marine gastropods
K. E. Parsons (1997)
10.1007/s003380050247
Evolutionary ecology: how to reconcile pelagic dispersal with local adaptation
R. Warner (1997)
Evolution of a speciesÕ range
M Kirkpatrick (1997)
10.1016/S0022-0981(97)00113-5
The Role of dispersal ability in the phenotypic differentiation and plasticity of two marine gastropods: II. Growth
K. E. Parsons (1998)
10.1890/0012-9615(1998)068[0325:SDATHM]2.0.CO;2
SEED DISPERSAL AND THE HOLOCENE MIGRATION OF WOODLAND HERBS
M. L. Cain (1998)
10.1046/J.1365-2745.1999.00334.X
Range size, dispersal and niche breadth in the herbaceous flora of central England
K. Thompson (1999)
10.1046/J.1365-2656.1999.00344.X
Determinants of geographical range sizes: a test using introduced New Zealand birds
R. Duncan (1999)
10.5751/ES-00184-040116
Scaling of Natal Dispersal Distances in Terrestrial Birds and Mammals
G. Sutherland (2000)
10.1046/J.1461-0248.2000.00116.X
Alternative causes for range limits: a metapopulation perspective
R. Holt (2000)
10.1002/9780470999592
Pattern and Process in Macroecology
K. Gaston (2000)
10.1016/S0006-3207(99)00139-1
How does wing length relate to distribution patterns of stoneflies (Plecoptera) and mayflies (Ephemeroptera)
Björn Malmqvist (2000)
10.1016/S0169-5347(00)01910-8
Areas, cradles and museums: the latitudinal gradient in species richness.
Chown (2000)
10.2307/2656714
Long-distance seed dispersal in plant populations.
M. L. Cain (2000)
10.1111/J.1469-1795.2000.TB00089.X
The threatened status of restricted-range coral reef fish species
J. P. Hawkins (2000)
10.1034/J.1600-0706.2000.880307.X
Explanations of commonness and rarity in British breeding birds: separating resource use and resource availability
R. Gregory (2000)
10.1098/rspb.2001.1748
Larval spatial distributions and other early life–history characteristics predict genetic differentiation in eastern Pacific blennioid fishes
C. Riginos (2001)
10.1086/319934
Invasion by Extremes: Population Spread with Variation in Dispersal and Reproduction
J. S. Clark (2001)
10.1139/F01-031
Contrasting larval transport in demersal fish and benthic invertebrates: the roles of behaviour and advective processes in determining spatial pattern
I. Bradbury (2001)
10.1073/PNAS.98.3.1095
Patterns of spread in biological invasions dominated by long-distance jump dispersal: Insights from Argentine ants.
A. Suarez (2001)
10.1046/J.0022-0477.2001.00584.X
Dispersal potential and early growth in 14 tropical mangroves: do early life history traits correlate with patterns of adult distribution?
P. Clarke (2001)
10.7312/MCKI10414-004
3. Geographic Range Fragmentation and the Evolution of Biological Diversity
B. Maurer (2001)
10.3354/MEPS230295
Pelagic larval duration and geographic distribution of tropical eastern Pacific snappers (Pisces : Lutjanidae)
F. Zapata (2002)
Range sizes in butterflies: correlation across scales
M. Brändle (2002)
10.1890/0012-9658(2002)083[2049:DDOMIP]2.0.CO;2
DISPERSAL DISTANCE OF MAMMALS IS PROPORTIONAL TO HOME RANGE SIZE
J. Bowman (2002)
10.1046/j.1365-2311.2003.00495.x
The influence of spatial scale on quantifying insect dispersal: an analysis of butterfly data
Christine Schneider (2003)
10.1890/01-0622
PROPAGULE DISPERSAL IN MARINE AND TERRESTRIAL ENVIRONMENTS: A COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE
B. Kinlan (2003)
10.1034/J.1600-0706.2003.11973.X
Effects of seed size of wind‐dispersed pines (Pinus) on secondary seed dispersal and the caching behavior of rodents
S. B. V. Wall (2003)
10.1139/Z02-237
Is dispersal distance of birds proportional to territory size
J. Bowman (2003)
10.1890/01-0616
ARE LONG‐DISTANCE DISPERSAL EVENTS IN PLANTS USUALLY CAUSED BY NONSTANDARD MEANS OF DISPERSAL?
S. Higgins (2003)
10.1046/J.1365-2699.1997.00144.X
Patterns in the distribution, abundance and body size of carabid beetles (Coleoptera: Caraboidea) in relation to dispersal ability
D. Gutiérrez (2003)
10.3354/MEPS260083
Lagrangian descriptions of marine larval dispersion
D. Siegel (2003)
10.1098/rspb.2002.2243
Geographical range and speciation in fossil and living molluscs
D. Jablonski (2003)
10.1890/1051-0761(2003)013[0159:PDDATS]2.0.CO;2
PROPAGULE DISPERSAL DISTANCE AND THE SIZE AND SPACING OF MARINE RESERVES
A. Shanks (2003)
The structure and dynamics of geographic ranges
K. Gaston (2003)
10.1890/1051-0761(2003)013[0146:PGDCAT]2.0.CO;2
POPULATION GENETICS, DEMOGRAPHIC CONNECTIVITY, AND THE DESIGN OF MARINE RESERVES
S. Palumbi (2003)
10.1046/J.1365-2699.2003.00922.X
Correlates of geographic range size in New Zealand Chionochloa (Poaceae) species
K. Lloyd (2003)
Are long-distance dispersal events in plants usually caused by nonstandard means of dispersal? Ecology
S I Higgins (2003)
The influence of spatial scale on quantifying insect dispersal : an analysis of butterfly data
J. S. Ryland (2003)
10.1111/j.1365-294X.2004.02202.x
Evidence of genetic selection for growth in new recruits of a marine fish
S. Planes (2004)
Comparative analysis of range sizes in Helicidae s.l. (Pulmonata, Gastropoda)
M. Pfenninger (2004)
10.1146/ANNUREV.ENERGY.29.062403.102254
MARINE RESERVES AND OCEAN NEIGHBORHOODS: The Spatial Scale of Marine Populations and Their Management
S. Palumbi (2004)
10.1007/BF00052229
Dispersal mode, seed shadows, and colonization patterns
M. Willson (2004)
10.1023/A:1026508715631
Some Evolutionary Arguments about what maintains the Pelagic Interval in Reef Fishes
F. Bonhomme (2004)
10.1111/J.1461-0248.2004.00614.X
Limited filling of the potential range in European tree species
J. Svenning (2004)
10.1098/rspb.2004.2985
The relationship between pelagic larval duration and range size in tropical reef fishes: a synthetic analysis
S. E. Lester (2005)
10.1038/nature03051
Evolution driven by differential dispersal within a wild bird population
D. Garant (2005)
10.1111/J.0030-1299.2005.13150.X
Empirical perspectives on species borders: from traditional biogeography to global change
C. Parmesan (2005)
10.1111/J.0030-1299.2005.13859.X
Macroecology of live-bearing in fishes: latitudinal and depth range comparisons with egg-laying relatives
N. B. Goodwin (2005)
10.1111/J.1365-2699.2004.01155.X
Factors shaping the range-size frequency distribution of the endemic fish fauna of the Tropical Eastern Pacific
C. Mora (2005)
10.1111/J.1366-9516.2005.00158.X
Propagule dispersal and the scales of marine community process
B. Kinlan (2005)
10.1016/j.cub.2005.06.061
Coral Reef Fish Larvae Settle Close to Home
G. Jones (2005)
Factors shaping the rangesize frequency distribution of the endemic fish fauna of the tropical eastern Pacific
C. Mora (2005)
Rates of population spread and geographic range expansion: what exotic species tell us
B Kinlan (2005)
10.1093/icb/icj027
Dispersal and divergence across the greatest ocean region: Do larvae matter?
Gustav Paulay (2006)
10.1111/J.1365-2699.2006.01562.X
The biogeography of plant reproduction: potential determinants of species’ range sizes
E. Lowry (2006)
10.1139/F06-048
Transgenerational marking of embryonic otoliths in marine fishes using barium stable isotopes
S. Thorrold (2006)
Non-equilibrium genetic structure is insensitive to the shape of the dispersal distribution
C. T. Lee (2006)
10.1016/S0065-2881(06)51002-8
Are larvae of demersal fishes plankton or nekton?
J. Leis (2006)
10.1126/SCIENCE.1122039
Scaling of Connectivity in Marine Populations
R. K. Cowen (2006)
Metapopulation Ecology
J. Gamarra (2007)
ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ABUNDANCE AND DISTRIBUTION OF SPECIES
J. Emlen (2008)
S
R E F E R E N C



This paper is referenced by
10.7717/peerj.10868
Genome size versus geographic range size in birds
B. Grzywacz (2021)
10.1086/712873
Behavioral Variability of Hatchlings Modifies Dispersal Potential in Crown Conch (Melongena corona): Why Do Larvae Crawl Away but Sometimes Swim?
Alexandra P. Hooks (2021)
10.1111/FWB.13686
Rescue effect drives local persistence of fish species in the Upper Paraná River floodplain
R. Granzotti (2021)
10.1111/JBI.14071
Little evidence of range size conservatism in freshwater plants across two continents
D. S. Vieira (2021)
10.1017/pab.2020.60
Geographic contingency, not species sorting, dominates macroevolutionary dynamics in an extinct clade of neogastropods (Volutospina; Volutidae)
D. Friend (2021)
10.1111/evo.14159
Testing which axes of species differentiation underlie covariance of phylogeographic similarity among montane sedge species
Richard G J Hodel (2021)
10.1101/2021.04.16.440248
Spatially non-continuous relationships between biological invasion and fragmentation of mangrove forests
Zhen Zhang (2021)
10.1016/J.PALAEO.2021.110568
Rapoport effects are inconsistently demonstrated through time
Tom Radomski (2021)
10.1007/S10531-021-02198-4
Modelling potential Pleistocene habitat corridors between Afromontane forest regions
K. Allen (2021)
10.1111/JBI.14151
Dispersal syndromes are poorly associated with climatic niche differences in the Azorean seed plants
M. Leo (2021)
10.3390/insects11010064
Mountains as Islands: Species Delimitation and Evolutionary History of the Ant-Loving Beetle Genus Panabachia (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) from the Northern Andes
Sofía I Muñoz-Tobar (2020)
10.1073/pnas.1908684117
Mismatches between demographic niches and geographic distributions are strongest in poorly dispersed and highly persistent plant species
J. Pagel (2020)
10.1038/s41467-020-15921-6
Endemism patterns are scale dependent
B. H. Daru (2020)
10.1111/ecog.05142
Disparate dispersal limitation inGeomalacusslugs unveiled by the shape and slope of the genetic–spatial distance relationship
C. Gómez-Rodríguez (2020)
10.1038/s41598-020-68618-7
Are endemic species necessarily ecological specialists? Functional variability and niche differentiation of two threatened Dianthus species in the montane steppes of northeastern Iran
M. Behroozian (2020)
10.1111/eva.13037
Strong population differentiation in lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus) is driven by a small portion of the genome
G. Longo (2020)
10.1071/BT20015
Dispersal potential in two restricted and five wide-ranging Senecio (Asteraceae) taxa from central eastern New South Wales, Australia
Lily N. N. Mickaill (2020)
10.1007/s10530-020-02285-7
Starting the stowaway pathway: the role of dispersal behavior in the invasion success of low-mobile marine species
M. Ros (2020)
10.21425/f5fbg43130
Integration of dispersal data into distribution modeling: what have we done and what have we learned?
T. Seaborn (2020)
10.5194/BG-17-2731-2020
Biogeography and community structure of abyssal scavenging Amphipoda (Crustacea) in the Pacific Ocean
Tasnim Patel (2020)
10.1111/geb.13163
Strong but opposing effects of climatic niche breadth and dispersal ability shape bat geographical range sizes across phylogenetic scales
L. H. Varzinczak (2020)
10.1016/j.jnc.2020.125799
Biogeographic tools help to assess the effectiveness of protected areas for the conservation of anurans in the Mantiqueira mountain range, Southeastern Brazil
M. A. Peixoto (2020)
10.1111/een.12952
Strong impacts of smoke polluted air demonstrated on the flight behaviour of the painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui L.)
Yanan Liu (2020)
10.1111/jbi.14001
Widespread underfilling of the potential ranges of North American trees
Benjamin Seliger (2020)
10.1111/nph.16406
Determinants of geographic range size in plants.
S. Sheth (2020)
10.1111/jbi.13920
A closer examination of the ‘abundant centre’ hypothesis for reef fishes
Hagar Yancovitch Shalom (2020)
10.1111/icad.12365
Comparing grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae) communities on tallgrass prairie reconstructions and remnants in Missouri
Joseph P. LaRose (2020)
Genetic structure of two endemic marine invertebrates, Ophionereis schayeri and Cellana tramoserica, along the south-eastern coast of Australia
Fiona Andrews (2020)
10.1002/ece3.5505
Temporal changes in abundance–occupancy relationships over 40 years
L. Manne (2020)
10.1086/710176
High Preservation Potential of Paleogeographic Range Size Distributions in Deep Time
S. Darroch (2020)
10.1038/s41467-020-16313-6
Ecological drivers of global gradients in avian dispersal inferred from wing morphology
C. Sheard (2020)
10.1098/rspb.2020.1450
Dispersal ability correlates with range size in Amazonian habitat-restricted birds
João M. G. Capurucho (2020)
See more
Semantic Scholar Logo Some data provided by SemanticScholar