European Union Projects
Project duration: 
Apr 2000 to Nov 2003

Dispersal ability is critical to the demographic and evolutionary persistence of a species in fragmented landscapes.


In plant species living in fragmented habitats, populations are comparable to small isolated islands surrounded by uninhabitable areas. In this situation, highly dispersive genotypes are more likely to be wasted from the populations, resulting in selection against dispersal. In this project we investigated the genetic variability and heritability in traits related to dispersal of several Asteraceae species (e.g. Centaurea corymbosa, Crepis triasii, Leontodon taraxacoides, Mycelis muralis) in European landscapes with different degrees of fragmentation. The results obtained were consistent with predictions that high cost of dispersal may select for lower dispersal ability in fragmented landscapes.


Related publications:

Chauvet S, Van der Velde M, Imbert E, Guillemin ML, Mayol M, Riba M, Smuldres MJM, Vosman B, Ericson L, Bijlsma R, Giles BE (2004) Past and current gene flow in the selfing wind-dispersed species Mycelis muralis in western Europe. Molecular Ecology, 13, 1391-1407.

Riba M, Mignot A, Freville H, Colas B, Imbert E, Vile D, Virevaire M, Olivieri I (2005) Variation in dispersal traits in a narrow-endemic plant species, Centaurea corymbosa Pourret. (Asteraceae). Evolutionary Ecology, 19, 241-254.

Riba M, Mayol M, Giles BE, Ronce O, Imbert E, Van der Valde M, Chauvet S, Ericson L, Bijlsma R, Vosman B, Smuldres MJM, Olivieri I (2009) Darwin’s wind hypothesis: does it work for plant dispersal in fragmented habitats?. New Phytologist, 183, 667-677.

  • Dinàmica de trets relacionats amb la dispersió de plantes en hàbitats fragmentats europeus