Understanding the drivers of dispersal evolution in range expansions and their ecological consequences

Christopher Weiss-Lehman, Allison K. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research has conclusively demonstrated the potential for dispersal evolution in range expansions and shifts, however the degree of dispersal evolution observed has varied substantially among organisms. Further, it is unknown how the factors influencing dispersal evolution might impact other ecological processes at play. We use an individual-based model to investigate the effects of the underlying genetics of dispersal and mode of reproduction in range expansions and shifts. Consistent with predictions from stationary populations, dispersal evolution increases with sexual reproduction and loci number. Contrary to our predictions, however, increased dispersal does not always improve a population’s ability to track changing conditions. The mate finding Allee effect inherent to sexual reproduction increases extinction risk during range shifts, counteracting the beneficial effect of increased dispersal evolution. Our results demonstrate the importance of considering both ecological and evolutionary processes for understanding range expansions and shifts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-197
Number of pages17
JournalEvolutionary Ecology
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research presented here was funded through start-up funds from both the University of Minnesota and the University of Wyoming as well as an NSF EPSCoR Track 2 RII grant (EPS-2019528).

Funding Information:
We thank members of the Theory Under Construction group at the University of Minnesota for thoughtful comments on the model. C.W.-L. was partially supported by start-up funds from the University of Minnesota (to A.K.S.), partially by start-up funds from the University of Wyoming, and partially by an NSF EPSCoR Track 2 RII grant (NSF award EPS-2019528). We acknowledge the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute at the University of Minnesota (http://www.msi.umn.edu) for providing resources that contributed to our results.

Funding Information:
We thank members of the Theory Under Construction group at the University of Minnesota for thoughtful comments on the model. C.W.-L. was partially supported by start-up funds from the University of Minnesota (to A.K.S.), partially by start-up funds from the University of Wyoming, and partially by an NSF EPSCoR Track 2 RII grant (NSF award EPS-2019528). We acknowledge the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute at the University of Minnesota ( http://www.msi.umn.edu ) for providing resources that contributed to our results.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Allee effect
  • Genetic architecture
  • Individual-based model
  • Range shifts

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