The aim of this paper is to address the question of how information transfer affects foraging efficiency in a colonial breeding situation. By creating computer simulations, we attempt to model information transfer of food location by individuals within the colony. Three kinds of foraging strategy were modeled: searcher-no information transfer (solo foraging), watcher-limited information transfer (local enhancement), and a mixture of watcher and follower-full information transfer (information center). The predictability of food was changed by varying patchiness (ratio of food patches) and duration of food patches. When the food occurs in many randomly distributed patches and the food density in each is low, the solitary searcher strategy gives the best foraging efficiency. The significance of information transfer strategies and colonial breeding on foraging efficiency increase when food becomes more clumped. The solitary watcher strategy is the best at intermediately clumped food distribution. Colonial breeding gives the best foraging efficiency when the information center operates and there are some high-density food patches.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology