SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Contemporary models of density-dependent habitat selection generally focus on long-term evolutionary consequences of intraspecific or interspecific competition and/or patterns of resource use in patchy environments. A primary goal of such studies often is to elucidate evolutionary stable strategies based on steady-state dynamics of population growth. In contrast, we developed a simulation model to explore short-term movements of interspecific competitors among fine-grained habitats of differing attributes, as might result from field manipulations of habitat quality or population densities. In this model, habitat quality is expressed in terms of mean individual fitness, represented by average per capita growth rate calculated according to the Lotka-Volterra equations describing interspecific competition. This model provides a mechanism for quantifying the effects of habitat quality, patterns of resource use and competition on distributions of individuals. Results demonstrate the heuristic value of this model in corroborating predictions derived from the ideal free distribution and isodar theory, and in generating isolegs to test the predictions of isoleg theory. Results indicate that small changes in model parameters have substantial impacts on patterns of habitat use and co-occurrence between species. The model identifies a variety of conditions under which isolegs for a given type of community organization deviate from predictions of contemporary isoleg theory, potentially expanding the universe of possible interspecific behaviors underlying the development of evolutionary stable strategies.