lecture4 - Feeding Strategies 26 June Observations in...

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Feeding Strategies 2 6 June 1 Observations in nature Observations in nature Foragers prefer some food items more than others Food selection by a forager for food type i = Proportion of all food items eaten that are type i Proportion of all food items in the environment that are type i Example: Total number of items eaten = 100 Number of type i items eaten = 50 Total number of items in the environment = 1000 Number of type i items in the environment = 200 Selection for food type i = 0.5/0.2 = 2.5 If selection > 1 then positive, if selection <1 then negative Foragers change their selection patterns Foragers change their selection patterns Foragers spend more time in some areas more than others Observations Foraging theory with mathematical models Functions of Mathematical Models in Ecology Functions of Mathematical Models in Ecology ± Provide a precise statement of how nature operates ± Generate qualitative and quantitative predictions ± Heuristic value – even if falsified, a model may provide aid or direction in the solution to a problem Optimal Foraging Theory Optimal Foraging Theory (Supplement 1) Basic premises: Basic premises: ± Natural selection favors individuals that exhibit the type of foraging behavior that increases individual fitness ± Individuals should maximize the amount of energy (or nutrients) obtained per unit of time spent foraging Why maximize energy / time? ± Increasing the amount of food obtained leads to higher survivorship, growth and reproduction ± Decreasing the time spent foraging reduces the cost of foraging and allows more time for other activities
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Feeding Strategies 2 6 June 2 How does a forager decide what to eat? How does a forager decide what to eat?
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lecture4 - Feeding Strategies 26 June Observations in...

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