Coevolution of dispersal in a parasitoid-host system



Green D (2009) Coevolution of dispersal in a parasitoid-host system. Population Ecology, 51 (2), pp. 253-260.

Interspecific interactions and the evolution of dispersal are both of interest when considering the potential impact of habitat fragmentation on community ecology, but the interaction between these processes is not well studied. We address this by considering the coevolution of dispersal strategies in a host-parasitoid system. An individual-based host-parasitoid metapopulation model was constructed for a patchy environment, allowing for evolution in dispersal rates of both species. Highly rarefied environments with few suitable patches selected against dispersal in both species, as did relatively static environments. Provided that parasitoids persist, all parameter values studied led to stable equilibria in dispersal rates for both species. There was a tendency towards higher dispersal rates in parasitoids due to the asymmetric relationships of the two species to the patches: vacant patches are most valuable for hosts, but unsuitable for parasitoids, which require an established host population to reproduce. High host dispersal rate was favoured by high host population growth rate, and in the parasitoid by high growth rates in both species.

competition; dispersal; Evolution (biology); Population dynamics

Population Ecology: Volume 51, Issue 2

Publication date30/04/2009

People (1)


Dr Darren Green

Dr Darren Green

Senior Lecturer, Institute of Aquaculture