Abstract

Ecology and evolution unfold in spatially structured communities, where dispersal links dynamics across scales. Because dispersal is multicausal, identifying general drivers remains challenging. In a coordinated distributed experiment spanning organisms from protozoa to vertebrates, we tested whether two fundamental determinants of local dynamics, top-down and bottom-up control, generally explain active dispersal. We show that both factors consistently increased emigration rates and use metacommunity modelling to highlight consequences on local and regional dynamics.

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Data availability

The data set and computer code generated and analysed during the current study are available in the Zenodo repository, https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1344579.

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Acknowledgements

F.A. thanks the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant no. PP00P3_150698). D.B. and S.M. thank the Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (grant no. 11T7518N LV). S.J., E.L. and N.S. thank Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) and Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (F.R.S.)-FNRS. S.J. acknowledges a ‘MOVE-IN Louvain’ postdoctoral position at UCL. N.S. is Research Associate of F.R.S.-FNRS. D.L. and M.D. thank the Fyssen Foundation for funding. J.D.R. thanks the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO; grant no. FWO14/ASP/075). Fr.P. was financially supported by Swiss National Science Foundation grant no. 31003A_159498. J.C. was supported by an ANR-12-JSV7-0004-01, by the ERA-Net BiodivERsA, with the national funder Office national de l’eau et des milieux aquatiques (Onema), part of the 2012–2013 BiodivERsA call for research proposals and by the French Laboratory of Excellence project TULIP (ANR-10-LABX-41). This work was supported by an Investissements d’avenir programme from the Agence Nationale de la recherche (no. ANR-11-INBS-0001AnaEE-Services). D.L. and J.C. thank A. Trochet and O. Calvez for their valuable input in the experiments involving newts, toads and snakes. D.L. and J.C. thank L. Raymond for providing the butterflies. M.D., A.A. and L.M. are especially grateful to C. Van Gheluwe for running the experiments and to Maryvonne Charrier for providing the D. reticulatum slugs. We thank M. Thomas for valuable input on the statistical analyses. This is publication ISEM 2018-172 of the Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution - Montpellier.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Aquatic Ecology, Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland

    • Emanuel A. Fronhofer
    • , Florian Altermatt
    •  & Chelsea J. Little
  2. Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

    • Emanuel A. Fronhofer
    • , Florian Altermatt
    • , Chelsea J. Little
    •  & Frank Pennekamp
  3. ISEM, Université de Montpellier, CNRS, IRD, EPHE, Montpellier, France

    • Emanuel A. Fronhofer
    • , Oliver Kaltz
    •  & Florent Manzi
  4. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université Paul Sabatier, Station d’Ecologie Théorique et Expérimentale UMR5321, Moulis, France

    • Delphine Legrand
    • , Simon Blanchet
    • , Alexis Chaine
    • , Lieven Therry
    •  & Alexandre Vong
  5. Université Rennes 1, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR6553 EcoBio, Rennes, France

    • Armelle Ansart
    • , Maxime Dahirel
    •  & Luc Madec
  6. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université Paul Sabatier, UMR5174 EDB (Laboratoire Évolution & Diversité Biologique), Toulouse, France

    • Simon Blanchet
    • , Lucie di Gesu
    • , Felix Pellerin
    • , Laurane Winandy
    •  & Julien Cote
  7. Department of Biology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

    • Dries Bonte
    • , Maxime Dahirel
    •  & Stefano Masier
  8. Institute for Advanced Studies in Toulouse, Toulouse School of Economics, Toulouse, France

    • Alexis Chaine
  9. Research Unit in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, University of Namur, Namur, Belgium

    • Frederik De Laender
    •  & Jonathan De Raedt
  10. Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Applied Ecology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

    • Jonathan De Raedt
  11. Earth and Life Institute, Biodiversity Research Centre, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

    • Staffan Jacob
    • , Estelle Laurent
    •  & Nicolas Schtickzelle

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Contributions

All authors commented on the drafts and have read and approved the final manuscript. More details on individual contributions can be found in the Supplementary Information at the beginning of each specific Supplementary methods section. F.A., D.B., A.C., J.C., M.D., F.D.L., E.A.F., D.L., S.J., E.L., S.M., Fr.P. and N.S. designed the research. This research was designed during a meeting of the dispNet group (https://dispnet.github.io/) organized at UCL by N.S. and D.B. F.A., A.A., S.B., D.B., J.C., M.D., F.D.L., J.D.R., L.D.G., E.A.F., D.L., S.J., O.K., E.L., C.J.L., L.M., F.M., S.M., Fe.P., Fr.P., N.S., L.T., A.V. and L.W. performed the experiments. More information can be found in the Supplementary Information. J.C. and E.A.F. analysed the experimental data. E.A.F. designed and analysed the model and drafted the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Emanuel A. Fronhofer.

Supplementary information

  1. Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Methods, Supplementary Figures 1–5, Supplementary Tables 1–14, Supplementary References

  2. Reporting Summary

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0686-0