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Dispersal, Population Growth, and the Allee Effect: Dynamics of the House Finch Invasion of Eastern North America

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Since about 1940, when they were first released in the new York City area, house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) have multiplied explosively and colonized much of eastern North America. We take advantage of the richly detailed documentation of this biological invasion to construct a mathematical model that predicts the rate of population spread on the basis of readily measurable demographic parameters. We seek to improve on previous models by predicting a rate of spread that accelerates following an initial period of slower growth, a pattern of spread followed by house finches as well as a variety of other invading species. We postulate that an Allee effect - disproportionately lowered fecundity below a critical threshold density of abundance-is the mechanism leading to a slower rate of spread in the early stages of the invasion. Our integrodifference equation model also emphasizes the link between long-distance dispersal and the rate of population spread.

  • Date created
    1996
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3HG4V
  • License
    Copyright 1996 by The University of Chicago
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • Veit, R. R., & Lewis, M. A. (1996). Dispersal, Population Growth, and the Allee Effect: Dynamics of the House Finch Invasion of Eastern North America. The American Naturalist, 148(2), 255-274.