Spatial heterogeneities of human-mediated dispersal vectors accelerate the range expansion of invaders with source-destination-mediated dispersal.
Rapid range expansions of invasive species are a major threat to ecosystems. Understanding how invasive species increase their habitat ranges and how environmental factors, including intensity of human activities, influence dispersal processes is an important issue in invasion biology, especially for invasive species management. We have investigated how spatially heterogeneous factors influence range expansion of an invasive species by focusing on long-distance dispersal, which is frequently assisted by human activities. We have developed models varying two underlying processes of a dispersal event. These events are described by source and destination functions that determine spatial variations in dispersal frequency and the probability of being a dispersal destination. Using these models, we investigated how spatially heterogeneous long-distance dispersal influences range expansion. We found that: (1) spatial variations in the destination function slow down late population dynamics, (2) spatial variations in the source function increase the stochasticity of early population dynamics, and (3) the speed of early population dynamics changes when both the source and the destination functions are spatially heterogeneous and positively correlated. These results suggest an importance of spatial heterogeneity factors in controlling long-distance dispersal when predicting the future spread of invasive species.