Uncertainty drives deviations in normative foraging decision strategies

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2021
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Kilpatrick, Zachary P.
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Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Royal Society of London. 2021, 18(180), 20210337. ISSN 1742-5689. eISSN 1742-5662. Available under: doi: 10.1098/rsif.2021.0337
Zusammenfassung

Nearly all animals forage to acquire energy for survival through efficient search and resource harvesting. Patch exploitation is a canonical foraging behaviour, but there is a need for more tractable and understandable mathematical models describing how foragers deal with uncertainty. To provide such a treatment, we develop a normative theory of patch foraging decisions, proposing mechanisms by which foraging behaviours emerge in the face of uncertainty. Our model foragers statistically and sequentially infer patch resource yields using Bayesian updating based on their resource encounter history. A decision to leave a patch is triggered when the certainty of the patch type or the estimated yield of the patch falls below a threshold. The time scale over which uncertainty in resource availability persists strongly impacts behavioural variables like patch residence times and decision rules determining patch departures. When patch depletion is slow, as in habitat selection, departures are characterized by a reduction of uncertainty, suggesting that the forager resides in a low-yielding patch. Uncertainty leads patch-exploiting foragers to overharvest (underharvest) patches with initially low (high) resource yields in comparison with predictions of the marginal value theorem. These results extend optimal foraging theory and motivate a variety of behavioural experiments investigating patch foraging behaviour.

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570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
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ISO 690KILPATRICK, Zachary P., Jacob D. DAVIDSON, Ahmed EL HADY, 2021. Uncertainty drives deviations in normative foraging decision strategies. In: Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Royal Society of London. 2021, 18(180), 20210337. ISSN 1742-5689. eISSN 1742-5662. Available under: doi: 10.1098/rsif.2021.0337
BibTex
@article{Kilpatrick2021-07Uncer-54435,
  year={2021},
  doi={10.1098/rsif.2021.0337},
  title={Uncertainty drives deviations in normative foraging decision strategies},
  number={180},
  volume={18},
  issn={1742-5689},
  journal={Journal of the Royal Society Interface},
  author={Kilpatrick, Zachary P. and Davidson, Jacob D. and El Hady, Ahmed},
  note={Article Number: 20210337}
}
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