Dispersal is one of the key processes in shaping distributional ranges and community assemblages, but we know little about animal dispersal at the individual, population, or community levels, or about how dispersal correlates with the establishment and colonization of new areas. This is largely due to difficulties in studying individual movements at the relevant spatiotemporal scale, leading to a gap between the direct study of dispersal and our understanding of the build-up of larger-scale biodiversity. Recent advances in tracking technology make it possible to bridge this gap. We propose a way to link movement, dispersal, ecology, and biogeography. In particular, we offer a framework to scale-up from processes at the individual level to global patterns of biodiversity.
Keywords: GPS tags; diversity build-up; movement; range shifts; tracking technologies.
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