Dispersal is the movement of organisms from one patch of habitat to another. This can have major consequences for ecological processes such as predator-prey interactions, and population persistence. In a previous study we conducted at KSR, we manipulated adult body condition, and showed that individuals in high condition were more likely to disperse than individuals in low-condition. In this project, we will investigate whether environmental quality experienced during development has carryover effects on dispersal propensity. We will test this using backswimmers, semi-aquatic insects common to the ponds in and around KSR which can disperse by flight among ponds. We will manipulate environmental quality experienced during development by placing juvenile backswimmers in enclosures in the pond, and then providing them with different amounts of food. We will then track dispersal of the backswimmers out of these enclosures.
Principal Investigators: Shannon McCauley & Locke Rowe
Researcher: Celina Baines