Long-distance dispersal events

The long and short of it

Back from the very interesting workshop organized in Madrid by Juanjo Robledo-Arnuncio. We focussed on long-distance dispersal events (LDD) and their importance to understand the potential responses to climate change. Changes in the environment will force adaptations or long-distance migration and range expansion in plants. Thus a key question is, are the LDD services provided by animal frugivores potentially allowing this environmental tracking.
We have been advancing a lot in understanding the local, stand-level patterns of dispersal and their consequences. Yet there are numerous conceptual and methodological challenges to understand migration among patches or fragments. LDD events > 500 km will be extremely difficult to assess in a robust way with current techniques, given the tremendous logistic challenge of sampling all the potential available pollen and seed sources. However, LDD events @100 km scale are probably affordable to estimate with a combination of mechanistic models (i.e., relying on high-precision satellite tracking of animal movement combined with physiological models) and genetic tools. Large scale sequencing and cheaper DNA analysis will help to genotype massive amounts of samples and allow the identification of rare immigrants, even when migration rates are low. Some lasting conceptual challenges include the estimation of 2D dispersal kernels that accommodate the complex reality of natural landscapes and the complexities of animal movement, which is quite often markedly directional and anisotropous.

The program of this interesting and thought-provoking workshop is here:


Long distance dispersal (LDD): perspectives and new directions

December 2nd, 2010

Sala Javier Palacios
Centro de Investigación Forestal (CIFOR)
Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA)
Ctra. de la Coruña km 7,5

8h45 – 9h00. Introduction (Juanjo Robledo-Arnuncio)

9h00 – 10h00 Keynote Speaker: Prof. Ran Nathan (Univ. Jerusalem)
A movement ecology approach to study LDD of plants

10h00 – 10h50. Prof. Pedro Jordano (EBD-CSIC)
Frugivores, seeds and genes: tracking the LDD events and their consequences

10h50 – 11h20. Coffee break

11h20 – 12h10Dr. Frederic Bartumeus (CEAB-CSIC)
LDD: Seed curves, Skewness and Anomalous Diffusion

12h10 – 13h00. Prof. Miguel Ángel de Zavala (Univ. Alcalá)
Species distribution models and long-range dispersal

13h00 – 14h30. Lunch at INIA

14h30 – 15h20. Dr. Juanjo Robledo-Arnuncio (CIFOR-INIA)
Genetic estimation of LDD among plant populations

15h20 – 17h00. Open Discussion (+ coffee)

17h00. End of mini-symposium


Forthcoming talk – Dispersal near and far

An invited talk, “Frugivores, seeds and genes: tracking the LDD events and their consequences” in the workshop organized by Juanjo Robledo-Arnuncio: Long-distance dispersal: perspectives and new directions. CIFOR-INIA, Madrid.


Gibraltar: “Arrived from a Symposium in Gibraltar: the CALPE Conference dedicated this year to the Pleistocene ecological changes and the evolution of bird migrations systems. It was an homage to the work of Reginald Moreau organized by Clive Finlayson and people at the Museum.”

(Via Weblog de Pedro.)

Special issue of Acta Oecologica

Special issue of Acta Oecologica: “The plenary lectures of the Frugivory and Seed Dispersal meeting in Montpellier will be published as an special issue of the journal Acta Oecologica. This will include ca. 30 papers.The issue is edited by Pierre M. Forget, with members of the academic committee (Joanna Lambert, Katrin Böhning-Gaese, Anna Traveset, and myself) as associate editors.” (Via Weblog de Pedro.)

Frugivory and Seed Dispersal Meeting, Montpellier

The frugivory and seed dispersal meeting was organized this year in Montpellier, France. FSD2010 entitled “Frugivores and Seed Dispersal: Mechanisms and Consequences of a Key Interaction for Biodiversity”. It has been quite a success. We are preparing a ‘meeting report’ paper for Biology Letters, and the plenary talks will be published in a special issue of Acta Oecologica. I’ll update the info here…

Photo: K. Holbrook

ECOFLOR meeting

ECOFLOR meeting in Teneriffe

The ECOFLOR meeting will be this year in Teneriffe, the 28-29 January. This is the 7th meeting of this great group of people interested in pollination biology.


Living in a defaunated world

Rodolfo Dirzo and Mauro Galetti have set up a symposium on the consequences of defaunation in tropical forests. The meeting is co-sponsored by The Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) and the Department of Biology at Stanford University. The registration for poster presentations is still open.