Dispersal

For sessile organisms, such as plants, dispersal is extraordinarily important to avoid density-dependent effects when offspring fall near parents, which are better competitors for available resources. Dispersal can be caused by abiotic, such as wind or precipitation runoff, or biotic agents, such as several animals, from ants to bats that predate on seeds or fruits but that eventually disperse seeds. The extent of dispersal determines the connectivity among populations and represents the means for establishing new populations in unoccupied suitable sites. Furthermore, dispersal may also increase the genetic variability of local populations by introducing new genotypes from other nearby populations.

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