Adaptive branching in source-sink habitats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Evolution and ecological diversification in a heterogeneous environment is driven by an often complex interplay between local adaptation and dispersal between different habitat types. Heterogeneous environments also easily generate source-sink dynamics of populations coupled by dispersal. It follows that local adaptation and possible adaptive radiation almost by necessity involves adaptation to a (pseudo-)sink habitat, which is considered unlikely. We here study a model of 'parapatric branching' with this special focus on the spatial ecology of the process. We find that evolutionary branching can display a sequence of alternating adaptations to the source or the sink. In some circumstances a true sink can become a pseudo-sink through adaptation to the corresponding source habitat. The evolutionary endpoint is a spatially structured community consisting of two source populations with one corresponding sink or pseudo-sink each. Our results shed new light on the interpretation of extant source-sink systems and the process of parapatric branching.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biological Sciences


  • Parapatric branching, Source-sink dynamics, Local adaptation, Dispersal, Migration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-489
JournalEvolutionary Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch