Evol Ecol Res 2: 293-316 (2000)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Limits to species richness in a continuum of habitat heterogeneity: An ESS approach

William A. Mitchell

Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA

Address all correspondence to William A. Mitchell, Department of Life Sciences, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN 47809, USA.
e-mail: lsmitch@scifac.indstate.edu


I use a co-evolutionary model to investigate the co-existence of species in ecological and evolutionary time in an environment that comprises a continuum of habitat heterogeneity. The model considers the ecology and evolution of communities organized by a trade-off in foraging costs over the environmental continuum. I assume that foragers use an optimal patch departure rule for depleting environments, where the rule itself depends on both the habitat and the forager’s phenotype, which is a heritable evolutionary strategy. I consider the effects of three variables on co-evolutionarily stable co-existence: (1) travel cost, (2) maintenance and replacement cost, and (3) the range of habitat heterogeneity. When travel cost is positive, it, as well as the other two variables, affects species richness. Increasing either travel cost or maintenance cost results in a decrease in richness. Increasing habitat heterogeneity can increase species richness.

Keywords: co-evolution, evolutionarily stable strategy, habitat selection, species richness, travel cost.

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