Patterns of vegetation biodiversity: The roles of dispersal directionality and river network structure

Rachata Muneepeerakul, Enrico Bertuzzo, Andrea Rinaldo, Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This paper investigates the importance of dispersal directionality and river network structure to biodiversity patterns. Our model results suggest that dispersal directionality plays a crucial role in determining biodiversity patterns, even more so than dispersal rates. Dispersal directionality heterogenizes the spatial distribution of abundance, which results in higher extinction rates of rare species and higher β diversity. It induces a few species with very high abundances at the expense of many species with intermediate abundances, thereby lowering α and γ diversities. The river network structure also increases β diversity, i.e., more heterogeneous ecosystems, in comparison to typical two-dimensional landscapes. We find that the interplay between the dispersal directionality and network topology has important consequences on relative species abundance patterns and the distribution of α diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-229
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 21 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodiversity
  • Directionality
  • Dispersal
  • Network structure
  • River network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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