Skip to main content
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 2
  • Cited by
    This (lowercase (translateProductType product.productType)) has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Furrer, Roman D. and Pasinelli, Gilberto 2016. Empirical evidence for source-sink populations: a review on occurrence, assessments and implications. Biological Reviews, Vol. 91, Issue. 3, p. 782.

    Fisher, Alina C. Volpe, John P. and Fisher, Jason T. 2014. Occupancy dynamics of escaped farmed Atlantic salmon in Canadian Pacific coastal salmon streams: implications for sustained invasions. Biological Invasions, Vol. 16, Issue. 10, p. 2137.

  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: July 2011

1 - Impact of a classic paper by H. Ronald Pulliam: the first 20 years


The central message of Pulliam’s classic paper, “Sources, sinks, and population regulation” (1988), was that population dynamics change across heterogeneous landscapes, and the persistence of populations in “sink” habitats relies on inputs from “source” habitats. Pulliam’s paper has gained widespread attention from the scientific and natural resource management communities. Here, we first provide the context in which the paper was developed and illustrate the paper’s overall impact during the past two decades. We then outline the contributions of Pulliam’s paper to the theories underlying niche concept, population dynamics and distribution, and community structure. Furthermore, we briefly discuss how Pulliam’s message has spread to other disciplines such as microbiology, economics, and public health. We also provide examples to demonstrate the paper’s influence on sustainable natural resource management in issues such as control of invasive species, design of protected areas, and harvesting of resources. Considering the growing impact of Pulliam’s work during the past 20 years, it is likely that this influential paper will continue to inspire scientific discovery and applications in the future.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

Sources, Sinks and Sustainability
  • Online ISBN: 9780511842399
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
Araújo M. B., Pearson R. G., Thuiller W. and Erhard M. (2005). Validation of species–climate impact models under climate change. Global Change Biology 11(9): 1504–1513.
Blumler M. A., Byrne R., et al. (1991). The ecological genetics of domestication and the origins of agriculture (and comments and reply). Current Anthropology 32(1): 23–54.
Botsford L. W., Moloney C. L., Hastings A., Largier J. L., Powell T. M., Higgins K. and Quinn J. F. (1994). The influence of spatially and temporally varying oceanographic conditions on meroplanktonic metapopulations. Deep Sea Research – Topical Studies in Oceanography 41(1): 107–145.
Brawn J. D. and Robinson S. K. (1996). Source–sink population dynamics may complicate the interpretation of long-term census data. Ecology 77(1): 3–12.
Chattopadhyay S., Feldgarden M., Weissman S. J., Dykhuizen D. E., van Belle G. and Sokurenko E. V. (2007). Haplotype diversity in “source-sink” dynamics of Escherichia coli urovirulence. Journal of Molecular Evolution 64(2): 204–214.
Cohen J. E. (1969). Natural primate troops and a stochastic population model. American Naturalist 103(933): 455–477.
Colwell R. K. and Futuyma D. J. (1971). On the measurement of niche breadth and overlap. Ecology 52(4): 567–576.
Crowder L. B., Lyman S. J., Figueira W. F. and Priddy J. (2000). Source–sink population dynamics and the problem of siting marine reserves. Bulletin of Marine Science 66(3): 799–820.
Danielson B. J. (1991). Communities in a landscape: the influence of habitat heterogeneity on the interactions between species. American Naturalist 138(5): 1105–1120.
Davis A. J., Jenkinson L. S., Lawton J. H., Shorrocks B. and Wood S. (1998). Making mistakes when predicting shifts in species range in response to global warming. Nature 391(6669): 783–786.
DeAngelis D. L. and Mooij W. M. (2005). Individual-based modeling of ecological and evolutionary processes. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 36(1): 147–168.
Dennehy J. J., Friedenberg N. A., Holt R. D. and Turner P. E. (2006). Viral ecology and the maintenance of novel host use. American Naturalist 167(3): 429–439.
Dias P. C. (1996). Sources and sinks in population biology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 11(8): 326–330.
Diffendorfer J. E. (1998). Testing models of source–sink dynamics and balanced dispersal. Oikos 81(3): 417–433.
Doncaster C. P., Clobert J., Doligez B., Gustafsson L. and Danchin E. (1997). Balanced dispersal between spatially varying local populations: an alternative to the source–sink model. American Naturalist 150(4): 425–445.
Duplantier J. M., Duchemin J. B., Chanteau S. and Carniel E. (2005). From the recent lessons of the Malagasy foci towards a global understanding of the factors involved in plague reemergence. Veterinary Research 36(3): 437–453.
Fahrig L. and Merriam G. (1985). Habitat patch connectivity and population survival. Ecology 66(6): 1762–1768.
Fretwell S. D. and Lucas H. L. (1970). On territorial behaviour and other factors influencing habitat distribution in birds. I. Theoretical development. Acta Biotheoretica 19: 16–36.
Grassly N. C., Fraser C., Wenger J., Deshpande J. M., Sutter R. W., Heymann D. L. and Aylward R. B. (2006). New strategies for the elimination of polio from India. Science 314(5802): 1150–1153.
Grinnell J. (1917). The niche-relationships of the California thrasher. Auk 34(4): 427–433.
Hanski I. and Gilpin M. (1991). Metapopulation dynamics: brief history and conceptual domain. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 42(1–2): 3–16.
Harrison S. (1991). Local extinction in a metapopulation context: an empirical evaluation. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 42(1–2): 73–88.
Holt R. D. (1984). Spatial heterogeneity, indirect interactions, and the coexistence of prey species. American Naturalist 124(3): 377–406.
Holt R. D. (1985). Population dynamics in two-patch environments: some anomalous consequences of an optimal habitat distribution. Theoretical Population Biology 28: 181–208.
Holt R. D. (1987). Prey communities in patchy environments. Oikos 50(3): 276–290.
Holt R. D. and Gaines M. S. (1992). Analysis of adaptation in heterogeneous landscapes: implications for the evolution of fundamental niches. Evolutionary Ecology 6(5): 433–447.
Holterhoff P. F. (1996). Crinoid biofacies in Upper Carboniferous cyclothems, midcontinent North America: faunal tracking and the role of regional processes in biofacies recurrence. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 127(1–4): 47–81.
Horvath T. G., Lamberti G. A., Lodge D. M. and Perry W. L. (1996). Zebra mussel dispersal in lake–stream systems: source–sink dynamics?Journal of the North American Benthological Society 15(4): 564–575.
Hutchinson G. E. (1958). Concluding remarks. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology 22: 415–427.
James F. C., Johnston R. F., Wamer N. O., Niemi G. J. and Boecklen W. J. (1984). The Grinnellian niche of the wood thrush. American Naturalist 124(1): 17–47.
Johnson D. M. (2004). Source–sink dynamics in a temporally heterogeneous environment. Ecology 85(7): 2037–2045.
Levin S. A. (1974). Dispersion and population interactions. American Naturalist 108(960): 207–228.
Levins R. (1969). Some demographic and genetic consequences of environmental heterogeneity for biological control. Bulletin of the Entomological Society of America 15: 237–240.
Lewin R. (1989). Sources and sinks complicate ecology. Science 243(4890): 477–478.
Lidicker W. Z. (1975). The role of dispersal in the demography of small mammals. In Small Mammals: Their Productivity and Population Dynamics (Golley F. B., Petrusewicz K. and Ryszkowski L., eds.). Cambridge University Press, New York: 103–128.
Loreau M., Mouquet N. and Holt R. D. (2003). Meta-ecosystems: a theoretical framework for a spatial ecosystem ecology. Ecology Letters 6(8): 673–679.
Lundberg P. and Jonzen N. (1999). Optimal population harvesting in a source–sink environment. Evolutionary Ecology Research 1(6): 719–729.
Luoto M., Poyry J., Heikkinen R. K. and Saarinen K. (2005). Uncertainty of bioclimate envelope models based on the geographical distribution of species. Global Ecology and Biogeography 14(6): 575–584.
MacArthur R. H. and Wilson E. O. (1963). An equilibrium theory of insular zoogeography. Evolution 17(4): 373–387.
McCoy T. D., Ryan M. R. and Burger L. W. Jr. (1999). Conservation Reserve Program: source or sink habitat for grassland birds in Missouri?Journal of Wildlife Management 63(2): 530–538.
Møller A. P., Hobson K. A., Mousseau T. A. and Peklo A. M. (2006). Chernobyl as a population sink for barn swallows: tracking dispersal using stable-isotope profiles. Ecological Applications 16(5): 1696–1705.
Morris D. W. (1991). On the evolutionary stability of dispersal to sink habitats. American Naturalist 137(6): 907–911.
Novaro A. J., Funes M. C. and Walker R. S. (2005). An empirical test of source–sink dynamics induced by hunting. Journal of Applied Ecology 42(5): 910–920.
Perron G. G., Gonzalez A. and Buckling A. (2007). Source–sink dynamics shape the evolution of antibiotic resistance and its pleiotropic fitness cost. Proceedings of the Royal Society B – Biological Sciences 274(1623): 2351–2356.
Pulliam H. R. (1988). Sources, sinks, and population regulation. American Naturalist 132(5): 652–661.
Pulliam H. R. and Danielson B. J. (1991). Sources, sinks, and habitat selection: a landscape perspective on population dynamics. American Naturalist 137(Suppl.): S50–S66.
Roberts C. M. (1998). Sources, sinks, and the design of marine reserve networks. Fisheries 23(7): 16–19.
Rowe C. L., Hopkins W. A. and Coffman V. R. (2001). Failed recruitment of southern toads (Bufo terrestris) in a trace element-contaminated breeding habitat: direct and indirect effects that may lead to a local population sink. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 40(3): 399–405.
Runge J. P., Runge M. C. and Nichols J. D. (2006). The role of local populations within a landscape context: defining and classifying sources and sinks. American Naturalist 167(6): 925–938.
Sanchirico J. N. and Wilen J. E. (1999). Bioeconomics of spatial exploitation in a patchy environment. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 37(2): 129–150.
Singleton G. R., Tann C. R. and Krebs C. J. (2007). Landscape ecology of house mouse outbreaks in south-eastern Australia. Journal of Applied Ecology 44(3): 644–652.
Sokurenko E. V., Gomulkiewicz R. and Dykhuizen D. E. (2006). Opinion: source–sink dynamics of virulence evolution. Nature Reviews Microbiology 4(7): 548–555.
Tattersall F. H., Macdonald D. W., Hart B. J. and Manley W. (2004). Balanced dispersal or source–sink: do both models describe wood mice in farmed landscapes?Oikos 106(3): 536–550.
Turner M. G., Arthaud G. J., Engstrom R. T., Hejl S. J., Liu J., Loeb S. and McKelvey K. (1995). Usefulness of spatially explicit population models in land management. Ecological Applications 5(1): 12–16.
Van Horne B. (1983). Density as a misleading indicator of habitat quality. Journal of Wildlife Management 47(4): 893–901.
Watkinson A. R. and Sutherland W. J. (1995). Sources, sinks and pseudo-sinks. Journal of Animal Ecology 64(1): 126–130.
Wiens J. A. (1976). Population responses to patchy environments. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 7(1): 81–120.