The importance of long-distance dispersal in biodiversity conservation
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. © 2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.