Evol Ecol Res 1: 635-640 (1999) Full PDF if your library subscribes.
Multiple ideal free distributions of unequal competitors
Graeme D. Ruxton* and Stuart Humphries
Division of Environmental & Evolutionary Biology, University of Glasgow, Graham Kerr Building, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK
Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
We studied an individual-based model of a number of competitors each able to move freely between two resources. If individuals move only so as to improve their resource-gathering rate, then the system settles to one of a finite number of equilibria (often called ‘ideal free distributions’). The addition of occasional switching of a randomly selected individual between resources does not (contrary to the predictions of Hugie and Grand, 1998) lead to this distribution of equilibria collapsing to a single point. In fact, it can induce the population to shift periodically between equilibria, thereby increasing spatio-temporal variation in competitor numbers. Furthermore, we show that the probability of the system reaching a given equilibrium is critically dependent on the fine detail of the rules describing individual movements.
Keywords: habitat selection, ideal free distribution, patch switching, unequal competitors.
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