Skip to main content
Log in

Scales and costs of habitat selection in heterogeneous landscapes

  • Papers
  • Published:
Evolutionary Ecology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Summary

Two scales of habitat selection are likely to influence patterns of animal density in heterogeneous landscapes. At one scale, habitat selection is determined by the differential use of foraging locations within a home range. At a larger scale, habitat selection is determined by dispersal and the ability to relocate the home range. The limits of both scales must be known for accurate assessments of habitat selection and its role in effecting spatial patterns in abundance. Isodars, which specify the relationships between population density in two habitats such that the expected reproductive success of an individual is the same in both, allow us to distinguish the two scales of habitat selection because each scale has different costs. In a two-habitat environment, the cost of rejecting one of the habitats within a home range can be expressed as a devaluation of the other, because, for example, fine-grained foragers must travel through both. At the dispersal scale, the cost of accepting a new home range in a different habitat has the opposite effect of inflating the value of the original habitat to compensate for lost evolutionary potential associated with relocating the home range. These costs produce isodars at the foraging scale with a lower intercept and slope than those at the dispersal scale.

Empirical data on deer mice occupying prairie and badland habitats in southern Alberta confirm the ability of isodar analysis to differentiate between foraging and dispersal scales. The data suggest a foraging range of approximately 60 m, and an effective dispersal distance near 140 m. The relatively short dispersal distance implies that recent theories may have over-emphasized the role of habitat selection on local population dynamics. But the exchange of individuals between habitats sharing irregular borders may be substantial. Dispersal distance may thus give a false impression of the inability of habitat selection to help regulate population density.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Anderson, P. K. (1989) Dispersal in rodents: a resident fitness hypothesis.Spec. Publ. Am. Soc. Mammal. 9, 1–141.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown, J. S. and Pavlovic, N. B. (1992) Evolution in heterogeneous environments: effects of migration on habitat specialization.Evol. Ecol. 6, 360–82.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown, J. S. and Rosenzweig, M. L. (1986) Habitat selection in slowly regenerating environments.J. Theor. Biol. 123, 151–71.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bryan, R. B., Campbell, I. A. and Yair, A. (1987) Postglacial geomorphic development of the Dinosaur Provincial Park badlands, Alberta.Can. J. Earth Sci. 24, 135–46.

    Google Scholar 

  • Danielson, B. J. (1991) Communities in a landscape: the influence of habitat heterogeneity on the interactions between species.Am. Nat. 138, 1105–20.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fahrig, L. and Paloheimo, J. (1988) Determinants of local population size in patchy habitats.Theor. Pop. Biol. 34, 194–213.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fretwell, S. D. and Lucas, H. L. Jr (1970) On territorial behavior and other factors influencing habitat distribution in birds. I. Theoretical development.Acta Bioth. 19, 16–36.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Goodman, D. (1987) How do any species persist? Lessons for conservation biology.Con. Biol. 1, 59–62.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hassell, M. P. and Varley, G. C. (1969) New inductive population model for insect parasites and its bearing on biological control.Nature 223, 1133–6.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Holt, R. D. (1985) Population dynamics in two-patch environments: some anomalous consequences of an optimal habitat distribution.Theor. Pop. Biol. 28, 181–208.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Holt, R. D. and Gaines, M. S. (1992) Analysis of adaptation in heterogeneous landscapes: implications for the evolution of fundamental niches.Evol. Ecol. 6, 433–47.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kacelnik, A., Krebs J. R. and Bernstein, C. (1992) The ideal free distribution and predator-prey populations.Trends Ecol. Evol. 7, 50–5.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Legendre, P. and Fortin, M. J. (1989) Spatial pattern and ecological analysis.Vegetatio 80, 107–38.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • MacArthur, R. H. and Levins, R. (1964) Competition, habitat selection, and character displacement in a patchy environment.Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 51, 1207–10.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Milinski, M. and Parker, G. A. (1991) Competition for resources. InBehavioural Ecology: An Evolutionary Approach (3rd Ed.) (J. R. Krebs and N. B. Davies, eds) pp. 137–68. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, UK.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morris, D. W. (1982) Age-specific dispersal strategies in iteroparous species: who leaves when?Evol. Theory 6, 53–65.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morris, D. W. (1987a) Spatial scale and the cost of density-dependent habitat selection.Evol. Ecol. 1, 379–88.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Morris, D. W. (1987b) Tests of density-dependent habitat selection in a patchy environment.Ecol. Monogr. 57, 269–81.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morris, D. W. (1988) Habitat-dependent population regulation and community structure.Evol. Ecol. 2, 253–69.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Morris, D. W. (1989) Habitat-dependent estimates of competitive interaction.Oikos 55, 111–20.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morris, D. W. (1990) Temporal variation, habitat selection and community structure.Oikos 59, 303–12.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morris, D. W. (1991) On the evolutionary stability of dispersal to sink habitats.Am. Nat. 137, 907–11.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Norusis, M. J. (1988)SPSS/PC + Advanced Statistics V2.0. SPSS Inc., Chicago, USA.

    Google Scholar 

  • Oksanen, T. (1990) Exploitation ecosystems in heterogeneous habitat complexes.Evol. Ecol. 4, 220–34. complexes II: impact of small-scale heterogeneity on predator-prey dynamicsEvol. Ecol. 6, 383–98.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Parker, G. A. and Sutherland, W. J. (1986) Ideal free distributions when individuals differ in competitive ability: phenotype limited ideal free models.Anim. Behav. 34, 1222–42.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pulliam, H. R. (1988) Sources, sinks, and population regulation.Am. Nat. 132, 652–61.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pulliam, H. R. and B. J. Danielson (1991) Sources, sinks and habitat selection: a landscape perspective on population dynamics.Am. Nat. 137, S50-S66.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rosenzweig, M. L. (1974) On the evolution of habitat selection.Pr. First Int. Congr. Ecol. 401–4.

  • Rosenzweig, M. L. (1981) A theory of habitat selection.Ecology 62, 327–35.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rosenzweig, M. L. (1985) Some theoretical aspects of habitat selection. InHabitat Selection in Birds (M. L. Cody, ed.) pp. 517–40. Academic Press, London, UK.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stickel, L. F. (1968) Home range and travels. InBiology of Peromyscus (Rodentia) (J. A. King, ed.) pp. 373–411. American Society of Mammalogists, Stillwater, OK, USA.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sugihara, G. and May, R. M. (1990) Applications of fractals in ecology.Trends Ecol. Evol. 5, 79–86.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sutherland, W. J. (1983) Aggregation and the ‘ideal free’ distribution.J. Anim. Ecol. 52, 821–8.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Morris, D.W. Scales and costs of habitat selection in heterogeneous landscapes. Evol Ecol 6, 412–432 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02270701

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02270701

Keywords

Navigation