Document Type


Publication Date





This article verifies that the ideal free distribution (IFD) is evolutionarily stable, provided the payoff in each patch decreases with an increasing number of individuals. General frequency-dependent models of migratory dynamics that differ in the degree of animal omniscience are then developed. These models do not exclude migration at the IFD where balanced dispersal emerges. It is shown that the population distribution converges to the IFD even when animals are nonideal (i.e., they do not know the quality of all patches). In particular, the IFD emerges when animals never migrate from patches with a higher payoff to patches with a lower payoff and when some animals always migrate to the best patch. It is shown that some random migration does not necessarily lead to undermatching, provided migration occurs at the IFD. The effect of population dynamics on the IFD (and vice versa) is analyzed. Without any migration, it is shown that population dynamics alone drive the population distribution to the IFD. If animal migration tends (for each fixed population size) to the IFD, then the combined migrationpopulation dynamics evolve to the population IFD independent of the two timescales (i.e., behavioral vs. population).


This article was originally published in The American Naturalist, 168(3): 384-397. © 2006 University of Chicago Press.