Spatial segregation in stage-structured populations with an application to Tribolium

Suzanne L. Robertson, J. M. Cushing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Spatial segregation among life-cycle stages has been observed in many stage-structured species, including species of the flour beetle Tribolium. We investigate density-dependent dispersal of life-cycle stages as a possible mechanism responsible for this separation. We explore this hypothesis using stage-structured, integrodifference equation (IDE) models that incorporate density-dependent dispersal kernels. We first investigate mechanisms that can lead to spatial patterns in juvenile-adult IDE models. We show, via numerical simulation, that density-dependent dispersal can lead to the spatial segregation of life-cycle stages in the sense that each stage peaks in a different spatial location. We then construct a three-stage spatial model to describe the population dynamics of Tribolium castaneum and Tribolium confusum and assess density-dependent dispersal mechanisms that are able to explain spatial patterns that have been experimentally observed in these species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-409
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of biological dynamics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Density-dependent dispersal
  • Integrodifference equations
  • Population dynamics
  • Segregation of life-cycle stages
  • Spatial patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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