Should I leave or should I stay? Understanding dispersal behaviour.


Many factors influence dispersal decisions, and studying these factors can reveal the causes and determinants of dispersal. Animals leave their birthplace to solve three fundamental problems: habitat deterioration, competition, and risk of inbreeding. However, animals only disperse once they are physically fit enough to reach and settle in the new location successfully. The dispersal process has three phases: departure from the natal area; transition (displacement); and settlement in the new habitat. Animals face different decisions in each of these phases.


habitat quality; competition; inbreeding; dispersal; fitness; gene flow


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