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Gender-Specific Emigration Decisions Sensitive to Local Male and Female Density

Thomas Hovestadt, Oliver Mitesser and Hans-Joachim Poethke
The American Naturalist
Vol. 184, No. 1 (July 2014), pp. 38-51
DOI: 10.1086/676524
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/676524
Page Count: 14
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Gender-Specific Emigration Decisions Sensitive to Local Male and Female Density
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Abstract

AbstractIncreasing interest is directed on understanding how individuals utilize information to come to dispersal decisions. We assume individuals base emigration decisions on male and female density in their natal patches. We derive gender-specific functions for emigration probability of species with discrete generations and polygynous mating under the premise that dispersal strategies equalize fitness expectations of emigrants and philopatric individuals: migration decisions should then always depend on a critical threshold density of the own gender. Whether density of the opposite sex affects emigration depends on details of resource competition: (1) Without competition, females should never emigrate, while males should emigrate in response to local sex ratio. (2) Under extreme competition among females or offspring, females and males should respond to the local density of their own gender only. (3) If both sexes compete over resources, emigration responds to the density of both sexes, but the dependence differs quantitatively between females and males. (4) Male-biased dispersal is the general expectation for polygynous species, but the model allows specifying conditions under which more females than males might nonetheless emigrate. The model provides guidelines for implementing density-dependent dispersal in simulations and specifies principal patterns that should emerge in empirical data.

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