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Continuous input models of the ideal free distribution usually assume that resources are consumed immediately that they enter a patch. This paper presents models of constant continuous input in which this assumption is relaxed, so that predictions can be made about the standing crops of resources and the density relationship of prey mortality caused by the consumers. These models suggest that: (1) the input matching rule is not dependent on the assumption that resources are consumed immediately that they enter a patch, and holds whether or not there is interference competition but not when there is an alternative source of mortality; (2) exploitation competition is fundamental to the continuous input model. Whether or not interference competition occurs can be determined in experimental situations by measuring the standing crops of resources in patches with different resource input rates; (3) interference models are not an alternative to continuous input models but represent a 'snapshot' of time from either continuous input or depletion models; (4) in continuous input models prey mortality is density independent in the absence of interference because all patches have the same standing crop of resources. When there is interference between consumers prey mortality is density dependent, unless the interference is extremely strong. [KEYWORDS: Individual decisions; patchy environment; predators; strategy]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-494
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995

ID: 356933