Optimal within-patch movement strategies for optimising patch residence time: an agent-based modelling approach

Abstract : Several optimisation models, like the marginal value theorem (MVT), have been proposed to predict the optimal time foraging animals should remain on patches of resources. These models do not clearly indicate, however, how animals can follow the corresponding predictions. Hence, several proximate patch-leaving decision rules have been proposed. Most if not all of these are based on the animals'motivation to remain on the patches, but the real behaviours involved in such motivation actually still remain to be identified. Since animals are usually exploiting patches of resources by walking, we developed a model simulating the intra-patch movement decisions of time-limited animals exploiting resources distributed in delimited patches in environments with different resource abundances and distributions. The values of the model parameters were optimised in the different environments by means of a genetic algorithm. Results indicate that simple modifications of the walking pattern of the foraging animals when resources are discovered can lead to patch residence times that appear consistent with the predictions of the MVT. These results provide a more concrete understanding of the optimal patch-leaving decision rules animals should adopt in different environments
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Behavioural ecology and sociobiology, 2013, 67 (12), pp.2053-2063. 〈10.1007/s00265-013-1615-5〉
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Eric Wajnberg, Thomas Hoffmeister, Patrick Coquillard. Optimal within-patch movement strategies for optimising patch residence time: an agent-based modelling approach. Behavioural ecology and sociobiology, 2013, 67 (12), pp.2053-2063. 〈10.1007/s00265-013-1615-5〉. 〈hal-00907762〉

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