TitleLinking the allee effect, sexual reproduction, and temperature-dependent sex determination via spatial dynamics
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsBerec, L, David S. Boukal, Berec, M
Keywordsconservation biology, extinction threshold, individual-based model, mate search strategy, turtle
Abstract

We develop a spatially explicit, two-sex, individual-based model (IBM) and a derived spatially homogeneous model (SHM) to describe the Allee effect due to scarcity of mating possibilities at low population sizes or densities. The SHM, based on coupled difference equations, represents the first spatially homogeneous approach to this phenomenon, which differentiates between sexes and relies only on measurable population parameters. The IBM reinforces the findings of the SHM by adopting more realistic mate search strategies of diffusive movement and active search. Both models are characterized by a hyperbolic-shaped extinction boundary in the male-female state space, which contrasts with a linear boundary in one-dimensional models of the Allee effect. We examine how the position of the extinction boundary depends on population demography (primary sex ratio, reproduction and mortality probabilities) and adopted mate search strategies. The investigation of different phases in the IBM dynamics emphasizes the differences between local and global densities and shows the importance of scale when assessing the Allee effect. To demonstrate the potential application of our models, we combine the SHM and available data to predict the impact of environmental temperature changes on two turtle species with temperature-dependent sex determination.

DOI10.1086/318626