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Condition-dependent movement and dispersal in experimental metacommunities

Publikationsart Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Originalbeitrag (peer-reviewed)
Publikationsdatum 2015
Autor/in Fronhofer Emanuel A., Klecka Jan, Melian Carlos J., Altermatt Florian,
Projekt A theory for next-generation food web data
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Originalbeitrag (peer-reviewed)

Zeitschrift Ecology Letters
Volume (Issue) 18(9)
Seite(n) 954 - 963
Titel der Proceedings Ecology Letters
DOI 10.1111/ele.12475


Dispersal and the underlying movement behaviour are processes of pivotal importance for under- standing and predicting metapopulation and metacommunity dynamics. Generally, dispersal deci- sions are condition-dependent and rely on information in the broad sense, like the presence of conspecifics. However, studies on metacommunities that include interspecific interactions generally disregard condition-dependence. Therefore, it remains unclear whether and how dispersal in meta- communities is condition-dependent and whether rules derived from single-species contexts can be scaled up to (meta)communities. Using experimental protist metacommunities, we show how dis- persal and movement depend on and are adjusted by the strength of interspecific interactions. We found that the predicting movement and dispersal in metacommunities requires knowledge on behavioural responses to intra- and interspecific interaction strengths. Consequently, metacommu- nity dynamics inferred directly from single-species metapopulations without taking interspecific interactions into account are likely flawed. Our work identifies the significance of condition-depen- dence for understanding metacommunity dynamics, stability and the coexistence and distribution of species.