Eur. J. Entomol. 105 (3): 405-409, 2008 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2008.051

Dispersal dynamics: Distribution of lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

Vlastimil KŘIVAN
Department of Theoretical Ecology, Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Branišovská 31, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic; e-mail: krivan@entu.cas.cz

This article studies coccinellid dispersal in heterogeneous environments using some hypotheses on dispersal rates that correspond to empirical observations. It is assumed that emigration rates increase with decreasing patch payoff that is measured either as the number of aphids per a lady beetle, or as the number of aphids only. Three scenarios for immigration are considered: individuals choose patches unconditionally, immigration is proportional to patch quality, and immigration is proportional to patch payoff. Coccinellid spatial distributions corresponding to these assumptions are given by a power law. Using some data from the literature on distribution of Coccinella septempunctata it is shown that the model with emigration proportional to the ratio of the number of conspecifics to aphid density and unconditional immigration rates provides the best fit when compared with the other models. This model predicts undermatching where better patches get lower consumer density when compared with the ideal free distribution.

Keywords: Balanced dispersal, Coccinella septempunctata, habitat choice, ideal free distribution, matching principle

Received: September 18, 2007; Accepted: November 26, 2007; Published: July 31, 2008

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