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Simulation Studies of Ideal Free Distribution and Competition

In: Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution
Authors:
Daryl Moorhead Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Toledodaryl.moorhead@utoledo.edu

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John Herman Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Toledo
Division of Natural Science, Coastal Carolina Community College, Jacksonville

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Elizabeth Pisarczyk Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Toledo

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We use a simple Lotka-Volterra model of interspecific competition to show that density-dependent habitat selection may play a role in the classic study of intraspecific competition among flour beetles (Tribolium spp.). Then we quantify the potential fitness advantage of rapid emigration by red-backed voles (Clethrionomys gapperi) within a field experimental facility. Results in both cases were consistent with the ideal free distribution, and yet provided an alternative explanation for interactions among flour beetles and an evaluation of the relationship between differential fitness and individual behavior in a mobile population. These results demonstrate the utility of simulation models to gain novel insights of behaviors producing patterns of differential habitat use.

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