The effect of dispersal behavior on stability in populations, communities, and ecosystems

Robert Andrew Deans &
Habitat choice, when organisms move among habitat patches in a directed fashion based on environmental cues, is an underappreciated force in Ecology. Theoretical work suggests that such choice behavior might be a potent source of stability in populations, communities, and ecosystems. I tested the effects of dispersal behavior on stability with a series of mesocosm experiments at each of these scales. In populations of snails with stochastic disturbance, I found that movement among patches was...
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