Corridor quality affects net movement, size of dispersers, and population growth in experimental microcosms

Dongbo Li*, Christopher F. Clements, Jane Memmott, Isobel Shan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)


Corridors are expected to increase species dispersal in fragmented habitats. However, it remains unclear how the quality of corridors influences the dispersal process, and how it interacts with corridor length and width. Here we investigate these factors using a small-scale laboratory system where we track the dispersal of the model organism Collembola Folsomia candida. Using this system, we study the effects of corridor length, width, and quality on the probability of dispersal, net movement, body size of dispersers, and the rate of change in population size after colonization. We show that corridor quality positively affected dispersal probability, net movement, and the rate of change in population size in colonised patches. Moreover, corridor quality significantly affected the size of dispersers, with only larger individuals dispersing through poor quality corridors. The length and width of corridors affected both the rate at which populations increased in colonised patches and the net number of individuals which dispersed, suggesting that these physical properties may be important in maintaining the flow of individuals in space. Our results thus suggest that corridor quality can have an important role in determining not only the probability of dispersal occurs but also the phenotypes of the individuals which disperse, with concomitant effects on the net movement of individuals and the rate of change in population size in the colonised patches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-556
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Bristol Wolfson Bioimaging Team for the help of image analysis and Ian Vaughan for statistical advice. DL was funded by the Chinese Scholarship Council (Grant number 201806190011).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Folsomia candida
  • Habitat fragmentation
  • Inter-patch distance
  • Metapopulation
  • Movement rates


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