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Evolutionary Ecology Research, 1999, 1: 411421 1999 Frederick R. Adler

Summary: Evolutionary Ecology Research, 1999, 1: 411421
1999 Frederick R. Adler
Departure time versus departure rate: How to
forage optimally when you are stupid
Frederick R. Adler1
* and Mirjam Kotar2
Departments of Mathematics and of Biology and 2
School of Medicine, University of Utah,
Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
Foragers unable to leave a patch at the optimal moment must act as constrained foragers.
Extending the results of Houston and McNamara (1985), we compare a blundering forager that
leaves patches at a constant rate with an unconstrained optimal forager that leaves patches at
the optimal time. When a dimensionless measure of environmental quality exceeds a particular
value, the blundering forager remains in patches longer on average than the unconstrained
optimal forager. The relative success of the blundering forager is, paradoxically, lowest when
its average departure time exactly matches that of the unconstrained optimal forager. When
foraging in two dimensions, blundering provides a robust spatial foraging strategy for dealing
with unknown differences in patch size.


Source: Adler, Fred - Department of Mathematics, University of Utah


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology