The importance of long-distance dispersal in biodiversity conservation

Ana Trakhtenbrot*, Ran Nathan, Gad Perry, David M. Richardson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

433 Scopus citations


Dispersal is universally considered important for biodiversity conservation. However, the significance of long- as opposed to short-distance dispersal is insufficiently recognized in the conservation context. Long-distance dispersal (LDD) events, although typically rare, are crucial to population spread and to maintenance of genetic connectivity. The main threats to global biodiversity involve excessive LDD of elements alien to ecosystems and insufficient dispersal of native species, for example, because of habitat fragmentation. In this paper, we attempt to bridge the gap in the treatment of LDD by reviewing the conservation issues for which LDD is most important. We then demonstrate how taking LDD into consideration can improve conservation management decisions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)173-181
Number of pages9
JournalDiversity and Distributions
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Biological invasions
  • Climate change
  • Connectivity
  • Invasive species
  • Long-distance dispersal
  • Management
  • Mechanistic models
  • Reintroduction


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