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Asymmetric migration decreases stability but increases resilience in a heterogeneous metapopulation.


ABSTRACT: Many natural populations are spatially distributed, forming a network of subpopulations linked by migration. Migration patterns are often asymmetric and heterogeneous, with important consequences on the ecology and evolution of the species. Here we investigate experimentally how asymmetric migration and heterogeneous structure affect a simple metapopulation of budding yeast, formed by one strain that produces a public good and a non-producer strain that benefits from it. We study metapopulations with star topology and asymmetric migration, finding that all their subpopulations have a higher fraction of producers than isolated populations. Furthermore, the metapopulations have lower tolerance to challenging environments but higher resilience to transient perturbations. This apparent paradox occurs because tolerance to a constant challenge depends on the weakest subpopulations of the network, while resilience to a transient perturbation depends on the strongest ones.

SUBMITTER: Limdi A 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6065393 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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