The spatial configuration of metapopulations (numbers, sizes, and localization of patches) affects their ability to resist demographic extinction and genetic drift, but sometimes with opposite effects. Small and isolated patches, for instance, contribute marginally to demography but may play a large role in genetics by maintaining a sizeable amount of genetic variance among demes. In source––sink systems, similarly, connectivity may be beneficial in terms of effective size, but detrimental in terms of survival, by lowering the reproductive value of source populations. How to reconcile these opposite effects? Here we propose an analytical framework that integrates fixation time (ability to resist genetic drift) and extinction time (ability to resist demographic extinction) into a single index of resistance, measuring the ability of a metapopulation to maintain its demo-genetic integrity. We then illustrate with numerical examples how conflicting demands may be resolved.
Ecology – Ecological Society of America
Published: Jul 1, 2006
Keywords: biodiversity ; connectivity ; eigenvalue effective size ; fragmentation ; landscape ; matrix analysis ; stochastic patch occupancy model (SPOM)
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