Interspecific behavioural interference and range dynamics: current insights and future directions

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Christophe Patterson, Jonathan Drury


Novel biotic interactions in shifting communities play a key role in determining the ability of species’ ranges to track suitable habitat. To date, the impact of biotic interactions on range dynamics have predominantly been studied in the context of interactions between different trophic levels or, to a lesser extent, exploitative competition between species of the same trophic level. Yet, both theory and a growing number of empirical studies show that interspecific behavioural interference, such as interspecific territorial and mating interactions, can slow down range expansions, preclude coexistence, or drive local extinction, even in the absence of resource competition. We conducted a systematic review of the current empirical research into the consequences of interspecific behavioural interference on range dynamics. Our findings demonstrate there is abundant evidence that behavioural interference by one species can impact the spatial distribution of another. Furthermore, we identify several gaps where more empirical work is needed to robustly test predictions from theory. Finally, we outline several avenues for future research, providing suggestions for how interspecific behavioural interference could be incorporated into existing scientific frameworks for understanding how biotic interactions influence range expansions, such as species distribution models, to build a stronger understanding of the potential consequences of behavioural interference on the outcome of future range dynamics.



Animal Sciences, Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Ornithology, Other Animal Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology, Zoology


interspecific behavioural interference, reproductive interference, interspecific aggression, range dynamics, systematic review, elevational gradients, invasion biology, range shift


Published: 2023-04-24 08:47

Last Updated: 2023-05-22 10:25

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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Data and Code Availability Statement:
All data used within this paper is contained within Table 1 and Supplementary Table 1