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Extension of ideal free resource use to breeding populations and metapopulations

Extension of ideal free resource use to breeding populations and metapopulations
Extension of ideal free resource use to breeding populations and metapopulations
The concept of an ideal and free use of limiting resources is commonly invoked in behavioural ecology as a null model for predicting the distribution of foraging consumers across heterogeneous habitat. In its original conception, however, its predictions were applied to the longer time-scales of habitat selection by breeding birds. Here I present a general model of ideal free resource use, which encompasses classical deterministic models for the dynamics in continuous time of feeding aggregations, breeding populations and metapopulations. I illustrate its key predictions using the consumer functional response given by Holling's disc equation. The predictions are all consistent with classical population dynamics, but at least two of them are not usually recognised as pertaining across all scales. At the fine scale of feeding aggregations, the steady state of an equal intake for all ideal free consumers may be intrinsically unstable, if patches are efficiently exploited by individuals with a non-negligible handling time of resources. At coarser scales, classical models of population and metapopulation dynamics assume exploitation of a homogeneous environment, yet they can yield testable predictions for heterogeneous environments too under the assumption of ideal free resource use.
0030-1299
24-36
Doncaster, C. Patrick
0eff2f42-fa0a-4e35-b6ac-475ad3482047
Doncaster, C. Patrick
0eff2f42-fa0a-4e35-b6ac-475ad3482047

Doncaster, C. Patrick (2000) Extension of ideal free resource use to breeding populations and metapopulations. Oikos, 89 (1), 24-36. (doi:10.1034/j.1600-0706.2000.890103.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The concept of an ideal and free use of limiting resources is commonly invoked in behavioural ecology as a null model for predicting the distribution of foraging consumers across heterogeneous habitat. In its original conception, however, its predictions were applied to the longer time-scales of habitat selection by breeding birds. Here I present a general model of ideal free resource use, which encompasses classical deterministic models for the dynamics in continuous time of feeding aggregations, breeding populations and metapopulations. I illustrate its key predictions using the consumer functional response given by Holling's disc equation. The predictions are all consistent with classical population dynamics, but at least two of them are not usually recognised as pertaining across all scales. At the fine scale of feeding aggregations, the steady state of an equal intake for all ideal free consumers may be intrinsically unstable, if patches are efficiently exploited by individuals with a non-negligible handling time of resources. At coarser scales, classical models of population and metapopulation dynamics assume exploitation of a homogeneous environment, yet they can yield testable predictions for heterogeneous environments too under the assumption of ideal free resource use.

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More information

Published date: April 2000

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 66497
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/66497
ISSN: 0030-1299
PURE UUID: 2b43ff8d-4507-42c3-a9ec-36ae0a520a69
ORCID for C. Patrick Doncaster: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9406-0693

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 Jun 2009
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 13:04

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