Determinants and consequences of dispersal in vertebrates with complex life cycles: a review of pond-breeding amphibians

Hugo Cayuela, Andrés Valenzuela-Sánchez, Loïc Teulier, Íñigo Martínez-Solano, Jean Paul Léna, Juha Merilä, Erin Muths, Richard Shine, Ludivine Quay, Mathieu Denoël, Jean Clobert, Benedikt R. Schmidt

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84 Citations (Scopus)
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Dispersal is a central process in ecology and evolution. It strongly influences the dynamics of spatially structured populations and affects evolutionary processes by shaping patterns of gene flow. For these reasons, dispersal has received considerable attention from ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and conservationists. Although it has been studied extensively in taxa such as birds and mammals, much less is known about dispersal in vertebrates with complex life cycles such as pond-breeding amphibians. Over the past two decades, researchers have taken an ever-increasing interest in amphibian dispersal and initiated both basic and applied studies, using a broad range of experimental and observational approaches. This body of research reveals complex dispersal patterns, causations, and syndromes, with dramatic consequences for the demography and genetics of amphibian populations. In this review, our goals are to: redefine and clarify the concept of amphibian dispersal; review current knowledge about the effects of individual (i.e., condition-dependent dispersal) and environmental (i.e., context-dependent dispersal) factors during the three stages of dispersal (i.e., emigration, transience, and immigration); identify the demographic and genetic consequences of dispersal in spatially structured amphibian populations; and propose new research avenues to extend our understanding of amphibian dispersal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-36
Number of pages36
JournalQuarterly Review of Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Demography
  • Dispersal syndromes
  • Emigration
  • Immigration
  • Landscape genetics
  • Movement
  • Transience


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