Propagule pressure and persistence in experimental populations.


Average inoculum size and number of introductions are known to have positive effects on population persistence. However, whether these factors affect persistence independently or interact is unknown. We conducted a two-factor experiment in which 112 populations of parthenogenetic Daphnia magna were maintained for 41 days to study effects of inoculum size and introduction frequency on: (i) population growth, (ii) population persistence and (iii) time-to-extinction. We found that the interaction of inoculum size and introduction frequency-the immigration rate-affected all three dependent variables, while population growth was additionally affected by introduction frequency. We conclude that for this system the most important aspect of propagule pressure is immigration rate, with relatively minor additional effects of introduction frequency and negligible effects of inoculum size.

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