The Open UniversitySkip to content

Dispersal in freshwater invertebrates

Bilton, David T.; Freeland, Joanna R. and Okamura, Beth (2001). Dispersal in freshwater invertebrates. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 32 pp. 159–181.

Full text available as:
Full text not publicly available (Version of Record)
Due to publisher licensing restrictions, this file is not available for public download
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Movement between discrete habitat patches can present significant challenges to organisms. Freshwater invertebrates achieve dispersal using a variety of mechanisms that can be broadly categorized as active or passive, and which have important consequences for processes of colonization, gene flow, and evolutionary divergence. Apart from flight in adult freshwater insects, active dispersal appears relatively uncommon. Passive dispersal may occur through transport by animal vectors or wind, often involving a specific desiccation-resistant stage in the life cycle. Dispersal in freshwater taxa is difficult to study directly, and rare but biologically significant dispersal events may remain undetected. Increased use of molecular markers has provided considerable insight into the frequency of dispersal in freshwater invertebrates, particularly for groups such as crustaceans and bryozoans that disperse passively through the transport of desiccation-resistant propagules. The establishment of propagule banks in sediment promotes dispersal in time and may be particularly important for passive dispersers by allowing temporal escape from unfavorable conditions. Patterns that apply to dispersal in freshwater invertebrates can be readily extended to other freshwater taxa, since common challenges arise from the colonization of isolated aquatic systems.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2001 Annual Reviews
ISSN: 0066-4162
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Cristatella mucedo dispersalGR3/8961NERC (Natural Environment Research Council)
Keywords: adult aquatic insects; mitochondrial-dna variation; marked caddisfly larvae; daphnia-pulex complex; population-structure; gene flow; North-American; egg bank; limnoporus-canaliculatus; microsatellite analysis
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Life, Health and Chemical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 6659
Depositing User: Astrid Peterkin
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2007
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2018 05:33
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU