Patch choice and risk: relative competitive ability is context dependent

Humphries, Stuart and Ruxton, Graeme D. and Metcalfe, Neil B. (1999) Patch choice and risk: relative competitive ability is context dependent. Animal Behaviour, 58 (5). pp. 1131-1138. ISSN 0003-3472

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Patch choice and risk: relative competitive ability is context dependent

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Abstract

The relative abilities of individual cichlids, Tilapia zillii to obtain food under scramble competition was highly repeatable between trials using a single input source, regardless of whether the input was constant or variable. However, when given a choice between two patches differing only in their temporal variability in input about an identical mean, an individual's rank based on intake in one patch was uncorrelated with either its intake in the other patch or its intake in the single-patch trials. In the two-patch trials, certain individuals both spent more time in food patches and visited patches more often than others, and overall the fish spent more time in the constant rate patch than the variable patch, leading to more items being consumed from the constant rate patch. We discuss possible causes and consequences of this dependence of relative competitive ability on the context of the foraging situation.

Keywords:cichlid, competitive ability, food consumption, foraging behavior, patch use, Animalia, Cichlidae, Perciformes, Tilapia, Tilapia zillii
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:15285
Deposited On:19 Dec 2014 11:09

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