Optimal density-dependent habitat selection
(co-authored publications list authors in order)
Ecologists long sought to link behavior, population dynamics and the rules of ecological community organization by using optimal foraging theories. However, they were frustrated owing to the mathematical intractability of multi-species theories of optimal habitat selection. To address this problem, we invented and developed isoleg theory. This qualitative mathematical approach deals with a perverse multidimensional problem: how should foragers select habitats in the face of variation in their own population density and that of the species with which they interact. Isoleg theory predicted unique nonlinear dynamics for competing species. We called this model 'The Ghost of Competition Past.' Isolegs also led to the discovery of centrifugal community organization. Using hummingbirds and gerbils as model animals, some of the research confirmed these predictions in the field. Isoleg theory also allowed the initiation of the study of the coevolution of ecological niches (a direction since exploited by a number of other evolutionary ecologists.)
2000 Abramsky, Z, M.L. Rosenzweig and A. Subach. The energetic cost of competition: Gerbils as moneychangers. Evol. Ecol. Research 2: 279-292.
1998 Abramsky, Z, M.L. Rosenzweig and A. Subach, Do gerbils care more about competition or predation? Oikos 83:75-84.
1997 MLR & Z. Abramsky, Two gerbils of the Negev: a long-term investigation of optimal habitat selection and its consequences. Evolutionary Ecology 11:733-756.
1997 Abramsky, Z., MLR, J.S. Brown & W.A. Mitchell, Reply to Yom-Tov and Dayan. Oikos 78:182.
1995 Ziv, Y., B.P. Kotler, Z. Abramsky & MLR. Foraging efficiencies of competing rodents: why do gerbils exhibit shared-preference habitat selection? Oikos 73:260-268.
1994 Abramsky, Z., O. Ovadia & MLR. The shape of a Gerbillus pyramidum (Rodentia: Gerbillinae) isocline: an experimental field study. Oikos 69:318-326.
1992 Abramsky, Z., MLR & A. Subach, The shape of a gerbil isocline: an experimental field study. Oikos 63:193-199.
1991 Habitat selection and population interactions: the search for mechanism. Amer. Natur. 137:S5-S28.
1991 Chesson, P. & MLR. Behavior, heterogeneity and the dynamics of interacting species. Ecology 72:1187-1195.
1991 Abramsky, Z., MLR & B. Pinshow. The shape of a gerbil isocline: an experimental field study using principles of optimal habitat selection. Ecology 72:329-340.
1990 Abramsky, Z., MLR, B. Pinshow, J.S. Brown, B. Kotler & W.A. Mitchell. Habitat selection: an experimental field test with two gerbil species. Ecology 71:2358-2369.
1990 Do animals choose habitats? Pp. 157-79 (chapter 8) in M. Bekoff & D. Jamieson (eds.), Interpretation and explanation in the study of animal behavior: comparative perspectives; Interpretation, intentionality and communication. Westview Press, Boulder, CO. (reprinted 1996, pp. 185-199 in M. Bekoff & D. Jamieson (eds.), Readings in animal cognition, MIT Press).
1989 Habitat selection, community organization and small mammal studies. pp. 5- 21 in Morris, D., Z. Abramsky, B. Fox & M.R. Willig (eds.), Patterns in the Structure of Mammalian Communities, International Theriological Congress, Special Publication #28 of the Museum of Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock.
1987 Habitat selection and evolutionary processes, a symposium edited by MLR, vol. 1,(4) of Evolutionary Ecology, 132 pp.
1987 Habitat selection as source of biological diversity. Evolutionary Ecology 1:315-330.
1987 Editor's coda: central themes of the symposium. Evolutionary Ecology 1:401-407.
1987 Community organization from the point of view of habitat selectors, pp. 469-490 in Gee, J.H.R. & B.J. Giller, (eds.) Organization of Communities: past and present. British Ecological Society Symposium #27, Blackwell Scientific, Oxford. 1986 MLR & Z. Abramsky. Centrifugal community organization . Oikos 46:339-348.
1986 Hummingbird isolegs in an experimental system, Behav, Ecol. and Sociobiol 19:313-322.
1986 J.S. Brown & MLR. Habitat selection in slowly regenerating environments. J. Theor. Biol 123:151-171.
1985 S. Pimm, MLR & W.A. Mitchell. Competition and food selection: field tests of a theory. Ecology 66:798-807.
1985 D. Baharav & MLR. Optimal foraging in Dorcas gazelles. J. Arid. Environ. 9:167.
1985 MLR & Z. Abramsky. Detecting density dependent habitat selection. Amer. Natur. 126:405-417.
1985 Some theoretical aspects of habitat selection, pp.517-540 in Cody, M.L. (ed.), Habitat Selection in Birds, Academic Press, NY
1981 A theory of habitat selection. Ecology 62:327-335.
1981 S. Pimm & MLR. Competitors and habitat use. Oikos 37:1-6.
1979 Optimal habitat selection in two-species competitive systems. Fortschr. Zool. 25:283-293.
1974 On the evolution of habitat selection. Pr. First International Congress of Ecology, pp. 401-404.