Species' borders and dispersal barriers

Emma E. Goldberg, Russell Lande

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Range limits of species are determined by combined effects of physical, historical, ecological, and evolutionary forces. We consider a subset of these factors by using spatial models of competition, hybridization, and local adaptation to examine the effects of partial dispersal barriers on the locations of borders between similar species. Prompted by results from population genetic models and biogeographic observations, we investigate the conditions under which species' borders are attracted to regions of reduced dispersal. For borders maintained by competition or hybridization, we find that dispersal barriers can attract borders whose positions would otherwise be either neutrally stable or moving across space. Borders affected strongly by local adaptation and gene flow, however, are repelled from dispersal barriers. These models illustrate how particular biotic and abiotic factors may combine to limit species' ranges, and they help to elucidate mechanisms by which range limits of many species may coincide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-304
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Biogeography
  • Cline
  • Range limit
  • Species interactions


Dive into the research topics of 'Species' borders and dispersal barriers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this