A theoretical investigation of the effect of predators on foraging behaviour and energy reserves

John M. McNamara, Z. Barta, Alasdair I. Houston, Philip Race

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Data show that when small birds are exposed to a model of a predator, their body mass may either increase or decrease. Although attempts have been made to explain the data using previous models, these models are based on a constant level of predation and hence are not appropriate for making predictions about the response of a bird to the sight of a predator. We have developed a novel model that includes encounters between a bird and potential predators. We show that, depending on the biology of the predator, optimal body mass may either increase or decrease. The model also makes predictions about the foraging behaviour of the bird after it has seen a predator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)929-934
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume272
Issue number1566
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 7 2005

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Biological Sciences

Keywords

  • Energy reserves
  • Foraging
  • Minimising mortality
  • Predation
  • Starvation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

A theoretical investigation of the effect of predators on foraging behaviour and energy reserves. / McNamara, John M.; Barta, Z.; Houston, Alasdair I.; Race, Philip.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 272, No. 1566, 07.05.2005, p. 929-934.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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