Dispersal kernels: review

Ran Nathan, Etienne Klein, Juan J. Robledo-Arnuncio, Eloy Revilla

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter discusses the basic concepts, questions, tools, and future directions in using dispersal kernels to study the behaviour and ecology of animals and plants. It begins with a discussion of distance — the most basic spatial descriptor of dispersal. Dispersal distance, the Euclidian distance between ‘start’ and ‘end’ points of a dispersal event, is recognized as a fundamental characteristic of the dispersal process, defined here as the movement of dispersers from their natal site or their breeding home range to a new place of potential establishment. Although dispersal distance cannot capture all aspects of how dispersal shapes post-dispersal survival and subsequent population and community dynamics, it has been used extensively in this context because it represents some key features of these relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDispersal Ecology and Evolution
EditorsClobert Jean, Baguette Michel, Benton Tim G., Bullock James M.
Place of PublicationOxford, UK
PublisherOxford Univerisity Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic) 9780191774560
ISBN (Print)978-0-19-960890-4, 978-0-19-960889-8
StatePublished - 2012


  • dispersal kernals
  • Dispersal distance
  • basic spatial descriptor
  • Euclidian distance
  • post-dispersal survival
  • community dynamics


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