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Last update: May 2021

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DISPERSE database

Sarremejane et al. 2020

In freshwater systems, relevant information on the dispersal of many taxa remains scattered or unpublished, and biological traits related to organisms’ morphology, life history and behaviour offer useful dispersal proxies. The DISPERSE database contains information on selected dispersal-related biological traits of European aquatic macroinvertebrates. The main types of variables contained are selected macroinvertebrate dispersal-related biological traits: maximum body size, adult female wing length, adult wing pair type, adult life span, number of reproductive cycles per year, lifelong fecundity, dispersal mode, and propensity to drift.

Aquatic macroinvertebrate taxa in DISPERSE include Mollusca, Annelida, Platyhelminthes, and Arthropoda such as Crustacea and Insecta. For Insecta, the aquatic and aerial (i.e. flying) phases of adults were considered separately. The taxonomic resolution used is the genus, except for some Annelida and Diptera, which are coded at the sub-class, family or sub-family level. In total, the database includes 39 trait categories grouped into nine dispersal-related traits for 480 taxa.

Information within DISPERSE can be used to address fundamental questions in metapopulation ecology, metacommunity ecology, macroecology, and eco-evolutionary research. From an applied perspective, the consideration of dispersal proxies can also improve predictions of ecological responses to global change, and contribute to more effective biomonitoring and conservation management strategies.

Last DISPERSE file : click here to download