4 - Behavioral Ecology Specific Question How animals behave...

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Unformatted text preview: Behavioral Ecology Specific Question: How animals behave under particular ecological condition? eg. Why some animals are solitary while others live in groups? Why males compete for females? Analysis of behavior must be based on theory of natural selection eg. singing in male starlings 1) individuals differ in their behavior 2) reproductive success of an individual is affected by its behavior 3) behavioral characteristics are largely heritable 4) natural selection produce individuals whose behaviours are adapted to the environment Different levels of questions in behavioral ecology eg. Starlings Sturnus vulgaris sing in spring 1) Why do starlings sing in spring ? 2) Why do starlings sing in spring ? 3) Why do starlings sing in spring ? 4) Why do starlings sing in spring ? 1) Why starlings sing in spring, why not summer ?- why spring ?- what are the stimuli ?- increase daylength & hormonal changes 2) What do the starlings do ?- why sing ? - animal physiology – sound as signal 3) Why starlings sing ?- why birds sing ?- genetic predisposition - evolutionary history of bird songs 4) Emphasis on ' why '- attract females & warn other males- genetically programmed to sing - natural selection for singing- what is the survival value or function of singing ? - 1 & 2 - proximate explanations - development & underlying physiological mechanism of singing in starlings ?- 3 & 4 - ultimate explanations- evolutionary origin of the behavior- behavior's effects on reproductive success Focus of behavioral ecology 1. relationship between behaviour, ecology & evolution 2. function of behavior 3. how behavior is adapted to environment 4. how particular behaviour contributes to survival & reproductive success Hypothesis testing in behavioral ecology Scientific approach : - observation- hypothesis (explanation)- prediction- experiments (test of hypothesis)- observation: - guillemots Uria aalge live in groups during mating seasons- hypothesis: - living in group increases reproductive success- prediction: - individuals in groups raise more chicks Experiments in 3 main ways: 1) Comparison between individuals within a species in field observation- Do individuals produce more chicks in groups?- Is reproductive success is a function of group size?- Are solitary individuals poor competitors? 2) Design experiments to test one factor at a time- Is the efficiency of nest defence higher in groups? 3) Compare among different species- What kinds of habitats favour group living? Models of Economic decisions- function of behaviours can be studied using economic models Observations: Shore crabs ( Carcinus maenas )- prefer mussels around 2.0 cm- large mussels difficult to crack open with chelae- small mussels contain too little fresh- profitability highest for mussels of 2.0 cm Hypothesis:- efficient foraging behavior increases feeding success- efficient feeding increases reproductive potential- natural selection selects for efficient foragers Optimality Theory (R.H.MacArthur)- natural selection produces individuals with maximal efficiency in their activities & therefore at passing their genes Optimal Foraging Theories...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2010 for the course ENG ELT1106 taught by Professor Mei during the Spring '07 term at 한동대학교.

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4 - Behavioral Ecology Specific Question How animals behave...

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