Dispersal distance of mammals is proportional to home range size
Ecology , Volume 83 - Issue 7 p. 2049- 2055
We tested the prediction that home range area and dispersal distance in mammals are related when considered independently of body size. Regression of log-transformed data demonstrated that more variance in maximum dispersal distance could be explained by home range area (74%) than could be explained by body size (50%). The relationship between maximum dispersal distance and home range size was isometric (slope = 1) when the square root of home range area (i.e., linear dimension of home range) was used. Thus, maximum dispersal distance was related to home range size by a single constant of 40. A linear relationship remained between these two variables after the effects of body size were removed (F = 31.6, df = 1, 32, P = 3.2 × 10 -6 R 2 = 0.50). A similar isometric relationship with home range size was found for median dispersal distance (related by a multiple of 7). This isometric relationship between dispersal distance and home range size was tested using a second data source: maximum movements made by mammals after translocation, which also was linearly related to home range area (F = 94.5, df = 1, 23, P = 1.3 × 10 -9, R 2 = 0.81). The slope and intercept of this relationship were not different from those of the relationship between maximum dispersal distance and home range area. We suggest that the vagility of mammals affected both home range size and dispersal distance (or movement after translocation) independently of body size, such that these movements could be predicted by home range area better than by body size alone. The resulting isometric relationship between dispersal distance and home range size has potential as a useful scaling rule for ecological practitioners.