The emergence of the rescue effect from explicit within and between-patch dynamics in a metapopulation

Anders Eriksson, Federico Elías-Wolff, Bernhard Mehlig, Andrea Manica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Immigration can rescue local populations from extinction, helping to stabilize a metapopulation. Local population dynamics is important for determining the strength of this rescue effect, but the mechanistic link between local demographic parameters and the rescue effect at the metapopulation level has received very little attention by modellers. We develop an analytical framework that allows us to describe the emergence of the rescue effect from interacting local stochastic dynamics. We show this framework to be applicable to a wide range of spatial scales, providing a powerful and convenient alternative to individual-based models for making predictions concerning the fate of metapopulations. We show that the rescue effect plays an important role in minimizing the increase in local extinction probability associated with high demographic stochasticity, but its role is more limited in the case of high local environmental stochasticity of recruitment or survival. While most models postulate the rescue effect, our framework provides an explicit mechanistic link between local dynamics and the emergence of the rescue effect, and more generally the stability of the whole metapopulation. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20133127
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1780
StatePublished - Feb 12 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Medicine


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