|Inbreeding depresses short and long distance dispersal in three congeneric spiders|In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology. European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB): Basel. ISSN 1010-061X, more
Erigone Audouin, 1826 [WoRMS]
constraints; dispersal; Erigone; inbreeding; purging
Dispersal is one of the most important precopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanisms and subject to landscape related selection pressures. In small populations, inbreeding within and between populations may strongly affect population dynamics if it reduces fitness and gene-flow. While inbreeding avoidance is generally considered to be a key evolutionary driver of dispersal, potential effects of inbreeding on the dispersal process, are poorly known. Here, I document how inbreeding within a population, so by mating among relatives, affects the survivorship and the dispersal behaviour of three congeneric spider Erigone species (Araneae: Linyphiidae) that differ in habitat preference and regional rarity. The three species were chosen as a model because they allow the assessment of both long and short distance dispersal motivation (respectively ballooning and rappelling) under laboratory conditions. Inbreeding reduced both long and short distance dispersal modes in the three congeneric species. Because survival was depressed after inbreeding, with a tendency of reduced survival loss in the rare and highly stenotopic species, energetic constraints are likely to be the underlying mechanism. Inbreeding consequently depresses silk-related dispersal in three related spiders. This may induce an inbreeding depression vortex with important consequences for range expansion and metapopulation dynamics of aerially dispersing species from highly fragmented landscapes.