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Scaling up ideals to freedom: are densities of red knots across western Europe consistent with ideal free distribution?
Quaintenne, G.; van Gils, J.A.; Bocher, P.; Dekinga, A.; Piersma, T. (2011). Scaling up ideals to freedom: are densities of red knots across western Europe consistent with ideal free distribution? Proc. - Royal Soc., Biol. Sci. 278(1719): 2728-2736. dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2011.0026
In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B. The Royal Society: London. ISSN 0962-8452, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors | Dataset 

Author keywords
    dispersal; energetics; group living; intake rate; interference; spatialscale

Authors  Top | Dataset 
  • Quaintenne, G.
  • van Gils, J.A., more
  • Bocher, P.

Abstract
    Local studies have shown that the distribution of red knots Calidris canutus across intertidal mudflats is consistent with the predictions of an ideal distribution, but not a free distribution. Here, we scale up the study of feeding distributions to their entire wintering area in western Europe. Densities of red knots were compared among seven wintering sites in The Netherlands, UK and France, where the available mollusc food stocks were also measured and from where diets were known. We tested between three different distribution models that respectively assumed (i) a uniform distribution of red knots over all areas, (ii) a uniform distribution across all suitable habitat (based on threshold densities of harvestable mollusc prey), and (iii) an ideal and free distribution (IFD) across all suitable habitats. Red knots were not homogeneously distributed across the different European wintering areas, also not when considering suitable habitats only. Their distribution was best explained by the IFD model, suggesting that the birds are exposed to interference and have good knowledge about their resource landscape at the spatial scale of NW Europe, and that the costs of movement between estuaries, at least when averaged over a whole winter, are negligible.

Dataset
  • Benthos monitoring in the intertidal mudflats of Pertuis-Charentais (Bay of Biscay) from 2004 on, more

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