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Sample records for esox lucius foraging

  1. Foraging success of juvenile pike Esox lucius depends on visual conditions and prey pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Jönsson, M; Hylander, S; Ranåker, L; Nilsson, P A; Brönmark, C

    2011-07-01

    Young-of-the-year pike Esox lucius foraging on copepods experienced different foraging success depending on prey pigmentation in water visually degraded by brown colouration or algae. Both attack rate and prey consumption rate were higher for E. lucius foraging on transparent prey in brown water, whereas the opposite was true in algal turbid water. Pigments in copepod prey may have a cryptic function in brown water instead of a photo-protective function even if prey-size selectivity was stronger than selection based on pigmentation in juvenile E. lucius.

  2. Early life migration patterns of Baltic Sea pike Esox lucius.

    PubMed

    Rohtla, M; Vetemaa, M; Urtson, K; Soesoo, A

    2012-04-01

    This study investigated the movement patterns of Baltic Sea pike Esox lucius in Matsalu Bay, Estonia, using otolith microchemistry. Migration patterns of E. lucius were remarkably diverse, but distinct groups were evident. Of the E. lucius analysed (n = 28), 82% hatched in fresh water and 74% of them left this biotope during the first growth season.

  3. Prey capture of pike Esox lucius larvae in turbid water.

    PubMed

    Salonen, M; Engström-Ost, J

    2010-06-01

    Pike Esox lucius larvae captured fewer calanoid and cyclopoid copepods in turbid than in clear water, whereas no differences were detected in feeding rates on Daphnia longispina. Decreased capture of copepods may lead to lower growth and survival of E. lucius larvae in turbid areas, in particular, if cladocerans are scarce.

  4. Trophic flexibility and opportunism in pike Esox lucius.

    PubMed

    Pedreschi, D; Mariani, S; Coughlan, J; Voigt, C C; O'Grady, M; Caffrey, J; Kelly-Quinn, M

    2015-10-01

    The first comprehensive investigation of pike Esox lucius trophic ecology in a region (Ireland) where they have long been thought to be a non-native species is presented. Diet was investigated across habitat types (lake, river and canal) through the combined methods of stable-isotope and stomach content analyses. Variations in niche size, specialization and the timing of the ontogenetic dietary switch were examined, revealing pronounced opportunism and feeding plasticity in E. lucius, along with a high occurrence of invertivory (up to 60 cm fork length, LF ) and a concomitant delayed switch to piscivory. Furthermore, E. lucius were found to primarily prey upon the highly available non-native roach Rutilus rutilus, which may alleviate predation pressure on brown trout Salmo trutta, highlighting the complexity of dynamic systems and the essential role of research in informing effective management.

  5. Morphological study of the northern pike (Esox lucius) tongue.

    PubMed

    Sadeghinezhad, Javad; Rahmati-holasoo, Hooman; Fayyaz, Sahel; Zargar, Ashkan

    2015-09-01

    The northern pike (Esox lucius) is a fresh water species belonging to the Esocidae family. It is a carnivorous fish feeding mostly on invertebrates and fishes. Due to the scantiness of relevant literature regarding the morphology of the tongue in fish we carried out this study with the aim of providing information on the dorsal surface morphology and histological structures of the tongue in E. lucius. The tongues of five E. lucius were examined using light- and scanning electron- microscopy (SEM) techniques. The SEM studies revealed the presence of numerous teeth, longitudinal mucosal strands and scattered taste buds spread on the tongue surface. Histological studies using hematoxylin and eosin and Masson's trichrome staining showed that the musculature was not visible in the tongue of E. lucius. The tongue is composed of mucosa, and submucosa supported by osteocartilagionous skeleton. The mucosa consists of several layers of unicellular mucous cells interrupted by numerous teeth. The derivation of teeth from the underlying bronchial skeleton was visible in longitudinal section. The scattered taste buds with a typical onion shape were also present. Overall, the morphological features of the E. lucius tongue together suggested its mechanical and sensory roles. The findings of this study together with morphological and physiological data from other fishes contribute to the knowledge of the nutrition and feeding behavior in aquaculture species.

  6. Northern pike (Esox lucius) collagen: Extraction, characterization and potential application.

    PubMed

    Kozlowska, J; Sionkowska, A; Skopinska-Wisniewska, J; Piechowicz, K

    2015-11-01

    Acid soluble collagen (ASC) and pepsin soluble collagen (PSC) from the scales of northern pike (Esox lucius) were extracted and characterized. It was the first time that this species was used as sources of collagen. FT-IR and amino acid analysis results revealed the presence of collagen. Glycine accounts for one-third of its amino acid residues and specific for collagen amino acid - hydroxyproline - is present in isolated protein. The content of imino acid: proline and hydroxyproline in ASC and PSC was similar (12.5% Pro and 6.5% Hyp). Both ASC and PSC were type I collagen. The denaturation temperature of ASC and PSC were 28.5 and 27°C, respectively. Thin collagen films were obtained by casting of collagen solution onto glass plates. The surface properties of ASC and PSC films were different - the surface of ASC collagen film was more polar and less rough than PSC and we can observe the formation of collagen fibrils after solvent evaporation. ASC films showed much higher tensile properties than PSC. The obtained results suggest that northern pike scales have potential as an alternative source of collagen for use in various fields.

  7. Ovarian alterations in wild northern pike Esox lucius females.

    PubMed

    Zarski, Daniel; Rechulicz, Jacek; Krejszeff, Sławomir; Czarkowski, Tomasz K; Stańczak, Katarzyna; Palińska, Katarzyna; Gryzińska, Magdalena; Targońska, Katarzyna; Kozłowski, Krzysztof; Mamcarz, Andrzej; Hliwa, Piotr

    2013-09-24

    The aim of the present study was to analyse the occurrence of macroscopically visible ovary alterations in 2 populations of northern pike Esox lucius L. originating from lakes in the Mazurian Lake District (NE Poland). The alterations were characterised by ovary tissue that was morphologically malformed, in part or in whole, and contained immature oocytes, i.e. trophoplastic or previtellogenic oocytes instead of vitellogenic oocytes. These alterations were found only in the ovaries, and no morphological alterations of the testes were noted. Macroscopic and histological analyses were carried out in order to classify the observed alterations in the ovaries. Three types of alterations were identified in which morphological malformations as well as histological investigation of the ovaries were considered. An analysis of the size and age of the fish in relation to the occurrence of alterations as well as of the macroscopic and histological nature of the alteration types was made. The data obtained revealed no lake or age dependency of the observed alterations. Based on the results obtained, we suggest that the presence of endocrine disruptors in the environment or/and genetic factors could be responsible for these kinds of gonad anomalies. However, our results did not allow us to determine the aetiology of the alterations.

  8. Mercury elimination by a top predator, Esox lucius.

    PubMed

    Van Walleghem, Jillian L A; Blanchfield, Paul J; Hrenchuk, Lee E; Hintelmann, Holger

    2013-05-07

    Top-level piscivores are highly sought after for consumption in freshwater fisheries, yet these species contain the highest levels of the neurotoxin monomethylmercury (MMHg) and therefore present the greatest concern for MMHg exposure to humans. The slow elimination of MMHg is one factor that contributes to high levels of this contaminant in fish; however, little quantitative information exists on elimination rates by top predators in nature. We determined rates of MMHg elimination in northern pike (Esox lucius) by transferring fish that had naturally accumulated isotope-enriched MMHg (spike MMHg) through a whole-lake Hg loading study to a different lake. Over a period of ~7 y, pike were periodically recaptured and a small amount of muscle tissue was extracted using a nonlethal biopsy. Spike total mercury (THg) persisted in muscle tissue throughout the entire study despite discontinuing exposure upon transfer to the new lake. Spike THg burdens increased for the first ~460 d, followed by a decline to 65% of original burden levels over the next 200 d, and subsequently reached a plateau near original burden levels for the remainder of the study. We estimated the half-life of muscle THg to be 3.3 y (1193 d), roughly 1.2- to 2.7-fold slower than predicted by current elimination models. We advocate for further long-term field studies that examine kinetics of MMHg in fish to better inform predictive models estimating the recovery of MMHg-contaminated fisheries.

  9. Mixed mesodermal and mesenchymal origin of myotomal muscles in pike (Esox lucius: Teleostei).

    PubMed

    Kacperczyk, A; Daczewska, M

    2006-02-01

    During the myotomal myogenesis in pike (Esox lucius) two phases of muscle differentiation can be distinguished. In the first phase, the somite cells-derived stock, the primary myoblasts (of mesodermal origin), fuse to form multinucleate myotubes. Participation of myotomal cells of mesodermal origin is insufficient for further muscle development. In the second stage mesenchymal cells migrate, via myosepts, into the myotome between myotubes. Immunocytochemical detection of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (marker of S phase of cell cycle) showed their mitotic activity. Transmission electron microscope analysis revealed that the differentiation of these cells depends on their position. Cells remaining in the myosepts develop into fibroblasts and produce collagen fibres, while those that have migrated into the myotomes transform into secondary myoblasts. Mesenchymal cells in the studied species are believed to participate in hypertrophy and hyperplasy of muscle fibres. Thus the muscle fibres in pike (E. lucius) are of mesodermal-mesenchymal origin.

  10. Rhipidocotyle fennica (Digenea: Bucephalidae) from Anodonta anatina and pike Esox lucius in Lithuania.

    PubMed

    Stunžėnas, Virmantas; Petkevičiūtė, Romualda; Stanevičiūtė, Gražina; Binkienė, Rasa

    2014-10-01

    Ribosomal DNA sequences of Rhipidocotyle sp. adults from Esox lucius were shown to be identical to sequences of larval Rhipidocotyle fennica, occurring in Anodonta anatina in Lake Vilkokšnis, Lithuania. Morphological features and host specificity of this adult worm correspond with that, determinate in the first description of R. fennica in Finland. These data give the first evidence that a viable population of R. fennica exists in east central Europe. Bucephalus polymorphus which was reported in unionids in all previous publications is probably R. fennica.

  11. Pike Esox lucius as an emerging model organism for studies in ecology and evolutionary biology: a review.

    PubMed

    Forsman, A; Tibblin, P; Berggren, H; Nordahl, O; Koch-Schmidt, P; Larsson, P

    2015-08-01

    The pike Esox lucius is a large, long-lived, iteroparous, top- predator fish species with a circumpolar distribution that occupies a broad range of aquatic environments. This study reports on a literature search and demonstrates that the publication rate of E. lucius research increases both in absolute terms and relative to total scientific output, and that the focus of investigation has changed over time from being dominated by studies on physiology and disease to being gradually replaced by studies on ecology and evolution. Esox lucius can be exploited as a model in future research for identifying causes and consequences of phenotypic and genetic variation at the levels of individuals, populations and species as well as for investigating community processes.

  12. Altered energetics and parasitism in juvenile northern pike (Esox lucius) inhabiting metal-mining contaminated lakes.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Jocelyn M; Janz, David M

    2008-07-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate possible factors that could be contributing to altered bioenergetics of juvenile northern pike (Esox lucius) living in lakes receiving effluent from the Key Lake uranium mill in northern Saskatchewan, Canada. Although glycogen and triglycerides stores in liver and muscle were significantly greater in pike from exposure lakes compared to the reference, triglycerides stores of aquatic insects and spottail shiners that are prey items of juvenile pike showed no overall differences among lakes. Measures of parasitism, on the other hand, were negatively correlated with pike bioenergetics thereby reflecting a possible energetic cost of parasitism on reference lake fishes. The degree of infection, as measured by the abundance and biomass of intestinal parasites and the abundance of monogeneans on pike gills, was greatest in reference fishes and intermediate in low-exposure pike, whereas high-exposure fishes harbored no parasites.

  13. Age-dependent accumulation of (137)Cs by pike Esox lucius in the Yenisei River.

    PubMed

    Zotina, T A; Trofimova, E A; Dementyev, D V; Bolsunovsky, A Ya

    2016-05-01

    Age-dependent accumulation of (137)Cs in the muscles and bodies of the pike Esox lucius (aged two to seven years) inhabiting a section of the Yenisei River polluted with artificial radionuclides has been studied. The content of (137)Cs in muscles varied from 0.5 to 7.0 Bq/kg of fresh weight. The maximum content of the radionuclide has been found in juveniles. The content of (137)Cs in pike muscles and body decreased considerably with age. The high content of (137)Cs in the muscles of juveniles is probably a consequence of their higher intensity of feeding as compared to older individuals, which is due to the intense growth of juveniles.

  14. Mercury elimination rates for adult northern pike Esox lucius: evidence for a sex effect.

    PubMed

    Madenjian, Charles P; Blanchfield, Paul J; Hrenchuk, Lee E; Van Walleghem, Jillian L A

    2014-08-01

    We examined the effect of sex on mercury elimination in fish by monitoring isotope-enriched mercury concentrations in the muscle tissue of three adult female and three adult male northern pike Esox lucius, which had accumulated the isotope-enriched mercury via a whole-lake manipulation and were subsequently moved to a clean lake. Mercury elimination rates for female and male northern pike were estimated to be 0.00034 and 0.00073 day(-1), respectively. Thus, males were capable of eliminating mercury at more than double the rate than that of females. To the best of our knowledge, our study represents the first documentation of mercury elimination rates varying between the sexes of fish. This sex difference in elimination rates should be taken into account when comparing mercury accumulation between the sexes of fish from the same population. Further, our findings should eventually lead to an improved understanding of mechanisms responsible for mercury elimination in vertebrates.

  15. Biogenic amines formation in high-pressure processed pike flesh (Esox lucius) during storage.

    PubMed

    Křížek, Martin; Matějková, Kateřina; Vácha, František; Dadáková, Eva

    2014-05-15

    The effects of vacuum packaging followed by high pressure processing on the shelf-life of fillets of pike (Esox lucius) were examined. Samples were pressure-treated at 300 and 500 MPa and stored at 3.5 and 12 °C for up to 70 days. The content of eight biogenic amines (putrescine, cadaverine, spermidine, spermine, histamine, tyramine, tryptamine and phenylethylamine) were determined. Putrescine showed very good correspondence with the level of applied pressure and organoleptic properties. Polyamines spermidine and spermine did not show statistically significant changes with the level of applied pressure and the time of storage. Increased cadaverine and tyramine contents were found in samples with good sensory signs, stored for longer time and/or kept at 12 °C, thus indicating the loss of freshness. Tryptamine and phenylethylamine were not detected in pressure-treated samples kept at 3.5 °C. Histamine was not detected in samples of good quality.

  16. 'Soft' harness for external attachment of large radio transmitters to northern pike (Esox lucius)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herke, S.W.; Moring, J.R.

    1999-01-01

    We developed a 'soft' harness for dorsally attaching large, external radio transmitters to northern pike (Esox lucius). The key harness component was a soft, flexible, thick-walled tubing that prevented tissue abrasion by the attachment lines which passed through the tubing. Six field-tagged fish (1.5-7.5 kg) were monitored for 45-115 days before tracking was terminated. Tracking patterns of fish indicated no apparent effect of these large, external transmitters on movement behavior; further, the transmitters did not appear to entangle the fish in vegetation. One fish with its transmitter still secure was recaptured after 54 days, and there was minimal tissue erosion under the transmitter. With minor improvements for the attachment lines and the transmitter saddle, the method is suitable for externally attaching large telemetry transmitters to fish.

  17. Spatial genetic structure of northern pike (Esox lucius) in the Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Laikre, Linda; Miller, Loren M; Palmé, Anna; Palm, Stefan; Kapuscinski, Anne R; Thoresson, Gunnar; Ryman, Nils

    2005-06-01

    The genetic relationships among 337 northern pike (Esox lucius) collected from the coastal zone of the central Baltic region and the Finnish islands of Aland were analysed using five microsatellite loci. Spatial structure was delineated using both traditional F-statistics and individually based approaches including spatial autocorrelation analysis. Our results indicate that the observed genotypic distribution is incompatible with that of a single, panmictic population. Isolation by distance appears important for shaping the genetic structure of pike in this region resulting in a largely continuous genetic change over the study area. Spatial autocorrelation analysis (Moran's I) of individual pairwise genotypic data show significant positive genetic correlation among pike collected within geographical distances of less than c. 100-150 km (genetic patch size). We suggest that the genetic patch size may be used as a preliminary basis for identifying management units for pike in the Baltic Sea.

  18. Mercury elimination rates for adult northern pike Esox lucius: evidence for a sex effect

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Madenjian, Charles P.; Blanchfield, Paul J.; Hrenchuk, Lee E.; Van Walleghem, Jillian L. A.

    2014-01-01

    We examined the effect of sex on mercury elimination in fish by monitoring isotope-enriched mercury concentrations in the muscle tissue of three adult female and three adult male northern pike Esox lucius, which had accumulated the isotope-enriched mercury via a whole-lake manipulation and were subsequently moved to a clean lake. Mercury elimination rates for female and male northern pike were estimated to be 0.00034 and 0.00073 day−1, respectively. Thus, males were capable of eliminating mercury at more than double the rate than that of females. To the best of our knowledge, our study represents the first documentation of mercury elimination rates varying between the sexes of fish. This sex difference in elimination rates should be taken into account when comparing mercury accumulation between the sexes of fish from the same population. Further, our findings should eventually lead to an improved understanding of mechanisms responsible for mercury elimination in vertebrates.

  19. Mechanical suppression of northern pike (Esox lucius) populations in small Arizona reservoirs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuzmenko, Yuliya; Spesiviy, Timofy; Bonar, Scott A.

    2010-01-01

    Introduced populations of northern pike Esox lucius have provided angling opportunities in the western United States (McMahon and Bennett 1996). However, the northern pike is a voracious piscivore and its large size, high fecundity, and broad physiological tolerance make it capable of drastically altering ecosystems it invades (Marchetti et al. 2004). Indeed, predation by northern pike has been shown to significantly alter fish community structure and put native fishes at a higher extinction risk (He and Kitchell 1990, Findlay et al. 2000). Predation by northern pike is viewed as a significant threat to native stocks of salmonids in Washington, British Columbia, and California (McMahon and Bennett 1996, California Department of Fish and Game [CDFG] 2003).

  20. Age and growth of pike (Esox lucius) in Chivyrkui Bay, Lake Baikal

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Owens, Randall W.; Pronin, Nikolai M.

    2000-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to describe age and growth of pike (Esox lucius) in Lake Baikal. Pike were collected with gill nets and by angling in Chivyrkui Bay in late July-early August 1993 and by gill nets in June 1995. Total length (mm), weight (g), and sex were recorded and scales and cleithra were collected for aging. In 1993, pike, ages 1 to 3, ranged in length from 331 to 810 mm and in 1995 , pike, ages 2 to 10, ranged in length from 365 to 1,111 mm but only three percent were age 7 or older. Most growth in length occurred during the first two years of life. The length-weight relation for pike from Chivyrkui Bay was similar to that of pike from the St. Lawrence River. Calculated total length of pike from Lake Baikal equalled or exceeded the lengths of pike from lakes Erie or Ontario. Good agreement was found between ages from cleithra and from scales. Lengths at age in June 1995 (N=108) varied widely among pike. Females were generally larger than males at a given age among fish age-3 and older. When compared with the circumpolar growth standard, based on the von Bertalanffy growth curve, growth of Lake Baikal pike exceeded all other Asian populations, and equalled or exceeded many other northern hemisphere populations.

  1. Temporal change estimation of mercury concentrations in northern pike (Esox lucius L.) in Swedish lakes.

    PubMed

    Åkerblom, Staffan; Nilsson, Mats; Yu, Jun; Ranneby, Bo; Johansson, Kjell

    2012-02-01

    Adequate temporal trend analysis of mercury (Hg) in freshwater ecosystems is critical to evaluate if actions from the human society have affected Hg concentrations ([Hg]) in fresh water biota. This study examined temporal change in [Hg] in Northern pike (Esox lucius L.) in Swedish freshwater lakes between 1994 and 2006. To achieve this were lake-specific, multiple-linear-regression models used to estimate pike [Hg], including indicator variables representing time and fish weight and their interactions. This approach permitted estimation of the direction and magnitude of temporal changes in 25 lakes selected from the Swedish national database on Hg in freshwater biota. A significant increase was found in 36% of the studied lakes with an average increase in pike [Hg] of 3.7±6.7% per year that was found to be positively correlated with total organic carbon. For lakes with a significant temporal change the dataset was based on a mean of 30 fish, while for lakes with no temporal change it was based on a mean of 13 fish.

  2. Selective exploitation of large pike Esox lucius--effects on mercury concentrations in fish populations.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Chhatra Mani; Borgstrøm, Reidar; Huitfeldt, Jørgen Sinkaberg; Rosseland, Bjørn Olav

    2008-07-25

    The present study outlines two main trends of mercury transfer patterns through the fish community: 1) the Hg concentrations increase with increase in the trophic level, with top predators having the highest concentrations, and 2) a fast growth rate may dilute the concentrations of Hg in fish muscle tissue (growth biodilution). In 2004, an extensive reduction in number of large pike (Esox lucius L.), was initiated by selective gillnet fishing in Lake Arungen, Norway, in order to increase the pike recruitment due to an expected reduction in cannibalism. In this connection, total mercury (THg) concentrations in the fish community were studied both before (2003) and after (2005) the removal of large pike. The delta(15)N signatures and stomach content analyses indicated that pike and perch (Perca fluviatilis L.) occupied the highest trophic position, while roach (Rutilus rutilus (L.)) was at the lower level, and rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus L.) at the lowest. The piscivores, pike and perch, had the highest concentrations of THg. The biomagnification rate of THg through the food web in the fish community was 0.163 (per thousand delta(15)N), with the highest uptake rate (0.232) in perch. A significant decrease in THg concentrations was found in all fish species in 2005 compared to 2003. Removal of the top predators in an Hg contaminated lake might thus be an important management tool for reducing Hg levels in fish, thereby reducing health risk to humans.

  3. Susceptibility of pike Esox lucius to a panel of Ranavirus isolates.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Britt Bang; Ersbøll, Annette Kjaer; Ariel, Ellen

    2009-02-25

    In order to study the pathogenicity of ranaviruses to a wild European freshwater fish species, pike Esox lucius fry were challenged with the following Ranavirus isolates: epizootic haematopoietic necrosis virus (EHNV), European sheatfish virus (ESV), European catfish virus (ECV), pike-perch iridovirus (PPIV), New Zealand eel virus (NZeelV) and frog virus 3 (FV3). The fry were infected using bath challenge at 12 and 22 degrees C. Significant mortalities were observed at 12 degrees C for EHNV, ESV, PPIV and NZeelV. Background mortality was too high in the experiments performed at 22 degrees C for any conclusions about viral pathogenicity at this temperature to be drawn. Viruses could be re-isolated from samples from all challenged groups, and their presence in infected tissue was demonstrated using immunohistochemistry. The findings suggest that pike fry are susceptible to EHNV, ESV, PPIV and NZeelV and can be a vector for ECV and FV3. Statistical analysis of the factors associated with positive virus re-isolation showed that the number of fish in the sample influenced the outcome of virus re-isolation. Moreover, the likelihood of positive virus re-isolation significantly differed among the 6 viral isolates. The temperature from where the sample was taken and the number of days after infection were not associated with the probability of a positive virus re-isolation.

  4. Visibility conditions and diel period affect small-scale spatio-temporal behaviour of pike Esox lucius in the absence of prey and conspecifics.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, P A; Baktoft, H; Boel, M; Meier, K; Jacobsen, L; Rokkjaer, E M; Clausen, T; Skov, C

    2012-05-01

    Pike Esox lucius in the absence of prey and conspecifics were shown to have the highest habitat-change activity during dusk and to decrease preference for complex habitats in turbid water. As the behaviours indicate routine responses in the absence of behavioural interactions, E. lucius spatio-temporal distributions should be directly affected and thereby more easily assessed and avoided by prey, with potential consequences for encounter rates.

  5. DDT in northern pike (Esox lucius) from the Richelieu River, Québec, Canada, 1974-75.

    PubMed

    Boileau, S; Baril, M; Alary, J G

    1979-12-01

    Concentrations of DDT, TDE, DDE, and sigma DDT were determined in homogenized whole fish samples of 129 northern pike (Esox lucius). These fish were netted between June 1974 and June 1975 in the first 10 km of the Richelieu River flowing in Canadian territory. Two years after the banning of DDT, sigma DDT levels ranged from 0.2 ppm fresh body weight in two-year-old specimens to 1.5 ppm in a six-year-old pike. Residues increased greatly with age, and significant seasonal variations in the sigma DDT levels were found in five- and six-year-old pike.

  6. Mercury toxicity in livers of northern pike (Esox lucius) from Isle Royale, USA.

    PubMed

    Drevnick, Paul E; Roberts, Aaron P; Otter, Ryan R; Hammerschmidt, Chad R; Klaper, Rebecca; Oris, James T

    2008-04-01

    Many laboratory studies have documented that mercury can be toxic to fish, but it is largely unknown if mercury is toxic to fish in their natural environments. The objective of our study was to investigate the toxic effects of mercury on northern pike (Esox lucius) at Isle Royale, Michigan. In 124 northern pike from eight inland lakes, concentrations of total mercury in skin-on fillets ranged from 0.069 to 0.622 microg/g wet mass (wet wt). Concentrations of total mercury in livers increased exponentially compared with concentrations in fillets, to a maximum of 3.1 microg/g wet wt. Methylmercury constituted a majority of the mercury in livers with total mercury concentrations <0.5 microg/g wet wt, but declined to 28-51% of the mercury in livers with total mercury concentrations >0.5 microg/g wet wt. Liver color (absorbance at 400 nm) varied among northern pike and was positively related to liver total mercury concentration. The pigment causing variation in liver color was identified as lipofuscin, which results from lipid peroxidation of membranous organelles. An analysis of covariance revealed lipofuscin accumulation was primarily associated with mercury exposure, and this association obscured any normal accumulation from aging. We also documented decreased lipid reserves in livers and poor condition factors of northern pike with high liver total mercury concentrations. Our results suggest (i) northern pike at Isle Royale are experiencing toxicity at concentrations of total mercury common for northern pike and other piscivorous fish elsewhere in North America and (ii) liver color may be useful for indicating mercury exposure and effects in northern pike at Isle Royale and possibly other aquatic ecosystems and other fish species.

  7. Larval deformities associated with selenium accumulation in northern pike (Esox lucius) exposed to metal mining effluent.

    PubMed

    Muscatello, Jorgelina R; Bennett, Pamela M; Himbeault, Kevin T; Belknap, Andrew M; Janz, David M

    2006-10-15

    The objective of this study was to investigate selenium toxicosis in larval northern pike (Esox lucius) originating from reproductively mature pike collected downstream of a uranium milling operation in northern Saskatchewan, Canada. Eggs were obtained from female pike collected from a reference site and three sites representing an exposure gradient (approximately 2, 10, and 15 km downstream of effluent discharge). Embryos were incubated following a two-way (crossover) analysis of variance experimental design that allowed discrimination between effects due to maternal transfer to eggs and effects due to site water exposure in the developing embryos. The major finding of this study was a significant increase in the frequencies of individual deformities (skeletal curvatures, craniofacial deformities, and fin deformities) and edema in fry originating from high and medium exposure site females (mean selenium concentrations of 48.23 and 31.28 microg/g egg dry weight and 38.27 and 16.58 microg/g muscle dry weight, respectively) compared to reference site females. Selenium concentrations resulting in a 20% increase in total deformities above background levels (EC20S) were 33.55 and 21.54 micro/g dry weight in eggs and muscle, respectively. Mathematical conversion of the egg- and muscle-derived relationships to whole body selenium levels resulted in similar EC20S of 15.56 and 17.72 microg/g dry weight, respectively. These relationships between tissue selenium levels and larval deformities suggest that northern pike are within the same range of sensitivity to selenium as the majority of warm water (e.g., centrarchids and cyprinids) and cold water (e.g., salmonids) fish species studied to date.

  8. Genetic structure of pike (Esox lucius) reveals a complex and previously unrecognized colonization history of Ireland

    PubMed Central

    Pedreschi, Debbi; Kelly-Quinn, Mary; Caffrey, Joe; O’Grady, Martin; Mariani, Stefano; Phillimore, Albert

    2014-01-01

    Aim We investigated genetic variation of Irish pike populations and their relationship with European outgroups, in order to elucidate the origin of this species to the island, which is largely assumed to have occurred as a human-mediated introduction over the past few hundred years. We aimed thereby to provide new insights into population structure to improve fisheries and biodiversity management in Irish freshwaters. Location Ireland, Britain and continental Europe. Methods A total of 752 pike (Esox lucius) were sampled from 15 locations around Ireland, and 9 continental European sites, and genotyped at six polymorphic microsatellite loci. Patterns and mechanisms of population genetic structure were assessed through a diverse array of methods, including Bayesian clustering, hierarchical analysis of molecular variance, and approximate Bayesian computation. Results Varying levels of genetic diversity and a high degree of population genetic differentiation were detected. Clear substructure within Ireland was identified, with two main groups being evident. One of the Irish populations showed high similarity with British populations. The other, more widespread, Irish strain did not group with any European population examined. Approximate Bayesian computation suggested that this widespread Irish strain is older, and may have colonized Ireland independently of humans. Main conclusions Population genetic substructure in Irish pike is high and comparable to the levels observed elsewhere in Europe. A comparison of evolutionary scenarios upholds the possibility that pike may have colonized Ireland in two ‘waves’, the first of which, being independent of human colonization, would represent the first evidence for natural colonization of a non-anadromous freshwater fish to the island of Ireland. Although further investigations using comprehensive genomic techniques will be necessary to confirm this, the present results warrant a reappraisal of current management strategies

  9. Biomarkers of contaminant exposure in Northern Pike (Esox lucius) from the Yukon River Basin, Alaska.

    PubMed

    Hinck, J E; Blazer, V S; Denslow, N D; Myers, M S; Gross, T S; Tillitt, D E

    2007-05-01

    As part of a larger investigation, northern pike (n = 158; Esox lucius) were collected from ten sites in the Yukon River Basin (YRB), Alaska, to document biomarkers and their correlations with organochlorine pesticide (total p,p'-DDT, total chlordane, dieldrin, and toxaphene), total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and elemental contaminant (arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, total mercury, selenium, and zinc) concentrations. A suite of biomarkers including somatic indices, hepatic 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity, vitellogenin concentrations, steroid hormone (17B- ustradiol and 16-kebtestosteront) concentrations, splenic macrophage aggregates (MAs), oocyte atresia, and other microscopic anomalies in various tissues were documented in YRB pike. Mean condition factor (0.50 to 0.68), hepatosomatic index (1.00% to 3.56%), and splenosomatic index (0.09% to 0.18%) were not anomalous at any site nor correlated with any contaminant concentration. Mean EROD activity (0.71 to 17.51 pmol/min/mg protein) was similar to basal activity levels previously measured in pike and was positively correlated with selenium concentrations (r = 0.88, P < 0.01). Vitellogenin concentrations in female (0.09 to 5.32 mg/mL) and male (<0.0005 to 0.097 mg/mL) pike were not correlated with any contaminant, but vitellogenin concentrations >0.01 mg/mL in male pike from multiple sites indicated exposure to estrogenic compounds. Mean steroid hormone concentrations and percent oocyte atresia were not anomalous in pike from any YRB site. Few site differences were significant for mean MA density (1.86 to 6.42 MA/mm(2)), size (812 to 1481 microm(2)), and tissue occupied (MA-%; 0.24% to 0.75%). A linear regression between MA-% and total PCBs was significant, although PCB concentrations were generally low in YRB pike (< or =63 ng/g), and MA-% values in female pike (0.24% to 0.54%) were lower than in male pike (0.32% to 0.75%) at similar PCB concentrations. Greater numbers of MAs were found as

  10. Biomarkers of contaminant exposure in northern pike (Esox lucius) from the Yukon River Basin, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hinck, J.E.; Blazer, V.S.; Denslow, N.D.; Myers, M.S.; Gross, T.S.; Tillitt, D.E.

    2007-01-01

    As part of a larger investigation, northern pike (n = 158; Esox lucius) were collected from ten sites in the Yukon River Basin (YRB), Alaska, to document biomarkers and their correlations with organochlorine pesticide (total p,p'-DDT, total chlordane, dieldrin, and toxaphene), total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and elemental contaminant (arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, total mercury, selenium, and zinc) concentrations. A suite of biomarkers including somatic indices, hepatic 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity, vitellogenin concentrations, steroid hormone (17B- ustradiol and 16-kebtestosteront) concentrations, splenic macrophage aggregates (MAs), oocyte atresia, and other microscopic anomalies in various tissues were documented in YRB pike. Mean condition factor (0.50 to 0.68), hepatosomatic index (1.00% to 3.56%), and splenosomatic index (0.09% to 0.18%) were not anomalous at any site nor correlated with any contaminant concentration. Mean EROD activity (0.71 to 17.51 pmol/min/mg protein) was similar to basal activity levels previously measured in pike and was positively correlated with selenium concentrations (r = 0.88, P < 0.01). Vitellogenin concentrations in female (0.09 to 5.32 mg/mL) and male (0.01 mg/mL in male pike from multiple sites indicated exposure to estrogenic compounds. Mean steroid hormone concentrations and percent oocyte atresia were not anomalous in pike from any YRB site. Few site differences were significant for mean MA density (1.86 to 6.42 MA/mm2), size (812 to 1481 ??m2), and tissue occupied (MA-%; 0.24% to 0.75%). A linear regression between MA-% and total PCBs was significant, although PCB concentrations were generally low in YRB pike (???63 ng/g), and MA-% values in female pike (0.24% to 0.54%) were lower than in male pike (0.32% to 0.75%) at similar PCB concentrations. Greater numbers of MAs were found as zinc concentrations increased in YRB female pike, but it is unlikely that this is a causative relationship

  11. [Taxonomic characteristics and physiological properties of microorganisms from the gut of pike (Esox lucius)].

    PubMed

    Izveskova, G I; Nemtseva, N V; Plotnikov, A O

    2008-01-01

    The taxonomic composition and distribution of microorganisms differing in the degree of association with the intestinal mucosa of the pike (Lucius lucius) has been studied. Microorgansism of the families Enterobacteriaceae, Aeromonadaceae, and Vibrionaceae dominate in the gut microflora. Numerically prevailing bacterial species are characterized by high proteolytic and amylolytic enzyme activities as well as by high persistence accounted for by antilysozyme and antihistone activities. The results of this study show that Hafnia alvei, Yersinia ruckeri, Vibrio vulnificus, V. furnissii, Aeromonas salmonicida, and Shewanella putrefaciens may be regarded as normal components of the pike gut microflora.

  12. Post-glacial dispersal patterns of Northern pike inferred from an 8800 year old pike (Esox cf. lucius) skull from interior Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wooller, Matthew J.; Gaglioti, Benjamin; Fulton, Tara L.; Lopez, Andres; Shapiro, Beth

    2015-07-01

    The biogeography of freshwater fish species during and after late-Pleistocene glaciations relate to how these species are genetically organized today, and the management of these often disjunct populations. Debate exists concerning the biogeography and routes of dispersal for Northern pike (Esox lucius) after the last glaciation. A hypothesis to account for the relatively low modern genetic diversity for E. lucius is post-glacial radiation from refugia, including lakes from within the un-glaciated portions of eastern Beringia. We report the remains of a Northern pike (E. cf. lucius) skull, including bones, teeth, bone collagen and ancient DNA. The remains were preserved at a depth of between 440 and 446 cm in a 670 cm long core of sediment from Quartz Lake, which initiated at ˜11,200 cal yr BP in interior Alaska. A calibrated accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) radiocarbon age of the collagen extracted from the preserved bones indicated that the organism was dated to 8820 cal yr BP and is bracketed by AMS values from analyses of terrestrial plant macrofossils, avoiding any potential aquatic reservoir effect that could have influenced the radiocarbon age of the bones. Scanning electron microscope images of the specimen show the hinged tooth anatomy typically of E. lucius. Molar C:N (3.5, 1σ = 0.1) value of the collagen from the specimen indicated well-preserved collagen and its mean stable nitrogen isotope value is consistent with the known predatory feeding ecology of E. lucius. Ancient DNA in the bones showed that the specimen was identical to modern E. lucius. Our record of E. lucius from interior Alaska is consistent with a biogeographic scenario involving rapid dispersal of this species from glacial refugia in the northern hemisphere after the last glaciation.

  13. Endocrine (sexual) disruption is not a prominent feature in the pike (Esox lucius), a top predator, living in English waters.

    PubMed

    Vine, Emma; Shears, Jan; van Aerle, Ronny; Tyler, Charles R; Sumpter, John P

    2005-06-01

    The high incidence of intersex roach (Rutilus rutilus) in some United Kingdom rivers that has been associated with exposure to sewage treatment works (STWs) effluent led us to hypothesize that top predator fish also may be affected by estrogenic chemicals, because they are likely to bioaccumulate lipophilic compounds through a predator-prey relationship. To investigate this possibility, pike (Esox lucius) were sampled both upstream and downstream of STWs and then examined for total estrogenic activity of their bile, as measured using a yeast-based estrogen assay to determine the degree of recent exposure of the pike to estrogens and vitellogenin induction, and for possible disruption of sexual development, as measured using histological analysis of the gonads. No evidence of severe disruption was found in the sampled fish, which came from 16 sampling sites that were representative of English rivers. However, 14% of pike were intersex, of which 15 of 16 showed patches of male germ cells among predominantly female gonadal tissue. The incidence of masculinization was independent of whether the pike had been sampled upstream or downstream of STWs. Although pike are gonochoristic, it is not known if this masculinization of presumptive female pike is normal or, instead, indicative of endocrine disruption. Vitellogenin concentrations were not elevated in male pike at sites either upstream or downstream of STWs. The results suggest that sexual disruption is not common in pike, a fish at the top of the food chain in the freshwaters of England.

  14. Between-population similarity in intestinal parasite community structure of pike (Esox lucius)--effects of distance and historical connections.

    PubMed

    Karvonen, Anssi; Valtonen, E Tellervo

    2009-06-01

    The effect of geographical distance on similarity in parasite communities of freshwater fish has received considerable attention in recent years, and it has become evident that these apparently simple relationships are influenced by, among other things, colonization ability of parasites and degree of connectivity between the populations. In the present paper, we explored qualitative and quantitative similarity in the intestinal parasite communities of pike (Esox lucius) in a particular system where previously interconnected groups of lakes became isolated ca. 8,400 yr ago. Contrary to our expectations, we did not find differences in similarity between the lake groups or a negative effect of distance among the populations. This supports the role of common ancestral colonization events and shows that no significant loss of species has occurred during the past 8,000 yr. However, the communities were dominated by a single parasite species, the cestode Triaenophorus nodulosus. The exclusion of this species from the data had a significant negative impact on the community similarities and also revealed a negative relationship between distance and quantitative similarity. This suggests that patterns of community organization may be obscured by a single dominant species. We also highlight the need for further studies in different systems and host species, as well as detailed reanalysis of existing data sets, to unravel the controversy in the relationship between distance and similarity in parasite communities.

  15. Fish Community Responses to the Establishment of a Piscivore, Northern Pike (Esox lucius), in a Nebraska Sandhill Lake

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeBates, T.J.; Paukert, C.P.; Willis, D.W.

    2003-01-01

    Northern pike (Esox lucius) was first documented in West Long Lake, Nebraska, in 1998 when two pike <380 mm were collected. In 2002, a Peterson mark-recapture population estimate on northern pike revealed density and standing stock (i.e., biomass) estimates of 35.8 fish/ha (95% CI= ?? 8.8) and 22.0 kg/ha (95% CI= ?? 5.4), respectively. Consequently, West Long Lake was sampled in 2002 to compare relative abundance, size structure, and growth of bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), and yellow perch (Perca flavescens) prior to and after the establishment of a high-density northern pike population. Bluegill, largemouth bass, and yellow perch relative abundances were significantly lower in 2002 than 1998. Similarly, size structures of all three species were significantly different between years. Size structure declined for both bluegill and yellow perch, and increased for largemouth bass. Growth was significantly higher for bluegill, largemouth bass, and yellow perch in 2002 than 1998. While the fish community changes were expected with the establishment of northern pike, they occurred in a relatively short time period (i.e., four years).

  16. {sup 32}P-postlabeling analysis of DNA adducts in wild perch (Perca fluviatilis) and northern pike (Esox lucius)

    SciTech Connect

    Ericson, G.; Liewenborg, B.; Balk, L.

    1995-12-31

    Several previous studies have demonstrated a correlation between high concentrations of sediment-associated contaminants and elevated levels of aromatic/hydrophobic DNA adduct levels in the liver of benthic fish species. In the present study DNA adducts was analyzed in coastal populations of perch (Perca fluviatilis) and northern pike (Esox lucius). Fish were sampled from four different sites in a gradient from a heavily industrialized area at the Swedish Baltic coast. For comparison, fish were also caught in a reference area with no main industries and comparatively low levels of contaminants of anthropogenic origin. DNA was extracted from liver and several extrahepatic tissues and DNA adducts were analyzed by the nuclease PI version of the {sup 32}P-postlabeling assay. The autoradiograms derived from DNA of fish from the contaminated sites showed several adduct spots not visible on the autoradiograms derived from fish from the reference area. Total adduct levels were significantly elevated in several tissues in fish from contaminated sites compared to the reference area. Species and tissue-specific differences in adduct levels and the use of {sup 32}P-postlabeling analysis of DNA adducts as a biomarker to monitor the presence and effects of genotoxic chemicals in the aquatic environment are discussed.

  17. Behaviour in a standardized assay, but not metabolic or growth rate, predicts behavioural variation in an adult aquatic top predator Esox lucius in the wild.

    PubMed

    Laskowski, K L; Monk, C T; Polverino, G; Alós, J; Nakayama, S; Staaks, G; Mehner, T; Arlinghaus, R

    2016-04-01

    This study tested for links among behaviour, state and life-history variables as predicted by the pace-of-life hypothesis in adult pike Esox lucius. First, a standardized open-field behavioural assay was developed to assess individual behaviour of wild-captured adult E. lucius. Behaviour within the standardized assay predicted swimming behaviour in the lake, providing an ecological validation of the assay. There was no relationship between standardized behaviour and any of the life-history and state variables, including metabolism, body condition, juvenile growth rate and adult growth rate in contrast to predictions from the pace-of-life hypothesis. This study demonstrates that it is possible to assess ecologically relevant behavioural variation in a large-bodied top predator using a standard open-field assay, but it is noteworthy that this standardized behaviour is not systematically related to standard metabolism or growth.

  18. Assessment of oxidative stress and histopathology in juvenile northern pike (Esox lucius) inhabiting lakes downstream of a uranium mill.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Jocelyn M; Janz, David M

    2009-05-17

    Lakes receiving effluent from the Key Lake uranium mill in northern Saskatchewan contain elevated trace metals, some of which are associated with increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells and tissues causing oxidative stress. The potential for oxidative stress was assessed in juvenile (age 1+) northern pike (Esox lucius) collected from two exposure (high and low) and one reference lake near the Key Lake operation. The concentrations of total, reduced and oxidized glutathione and the ratio of oxidized to reduced glutathione in liver and kidney did not differ significantly among pike collected from exposure and reference lakes, with the exception of low exposure pike kidney that had significantly greater oxidized glutathione and ratio of oxidized to reduced glutathione. The concentrations of by-products of lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde and 4-hydroxyalkenal) were significantly greater in kidney of pike collected from the reference lake compared to both exposure lakes. The activity of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase in liver was greater in pike collected from the high exposure lake compared to the reference lake. Histopathological evaluations revealed greater pathology in reference lake pike as indicated by a greater number of pyknotic and fragmented nuclei and dilated tubules as well as a thickening of Bowman's capsule in kidney, and as a thickening of the primary filament epithelial padding in gills. In liver, hepatocyte morphology, including transsectional area and degree of vacuolation, differed among lakes without any clear signs of pathology. Trace metal analyses of muscle showed that eight elements (arsenic, cobalt, copper, iron, molybdenum, selenium, thallium, and uranium) were significantly elevated in pike collected from both exposure lakes compared to reference. These results provide only limited evidence of oxidative stress in exposure pike tissues and no evidence of histopathology despite indications that trace metals, most

  19. Spatial analysis of Cd and Pb in the Pike (Esox lucius) from Western Anzali wetlands of Iran.

    PubMed

    Zamani-Ahmadmahmoodi, R; Esmaili-Sari, A; Mohammadi, J; Riyahi Bakhtiari, A; Savabieasfahani, M

    2013-04-01

    Geostatistical studies are used to estimate pollution burden in aquatic ecosystems and to plan large-scale control programs to protect these environments. Geostatistical studies allow us to predicted pollutant concentrations for areas that have not been sampled. This is done by taking into account the spatial correlations between estimated and sampled points and by minimizing the variance of estimation error. The use of geostatistical techniques in biomonitoring of fish species can illuminate extent and source of pollution, thereby providing an effective tool for developing intervention strategies to protect such environments. This study investigates the spatial distribution patterns of cadmium and lead in the Pike (Esox lucius). Fish were captured in the western parts of the Anzali wetlands located on the Caspian Sea in Iran. The muscle tissue of Anzali Pike had 5 ± 0.25 and 168 ± 18.4 (ng/g dw) cadmium and lead, respectively. Positive relationships were detected between Pike's length and weight (r = 0.85, p < 0.05), length and age (r = 0.35, p < 0.05), and muscle cadmium and lead (r = 0.45, p < 0.05). By contrast, there was a negative relationship between lead levels and weight in Pike (r = -0.36, p < 0.05). For both metals, the resulting metal concentration maps indicated higher pollutant concentrations in the southeast parts of the study area. Considerable boat traffic activity and agricultural activity contribute to the pollution in these areas, undermining the integrity of local habitat for fish survival and reproduction.

  20. Determination of polychlorinated biphenyls and total mercury in two fish species (Esox lucius and Carassius auratus) in Anzali Wetland, Iran.

    PubMed

    Sakizadeh, Mohammad; Esmaeili Sari, Abas; Abdoli, Asghar; Bahramifar, Nader; Hashemi, Seyed Hossein

    2012-05-01

    The Anzali Wetland is one of the most important ecosystems in the north of Iran, and parts of it were registered as a Ramsar site in 1975. However, even though, due to many problems, including eutrophication produced by inflow of excess nutrients and organic materials, the wetland was also listed on the Montreux Record indicating the need to take urgent remedial action. This study was conducted to study the levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and total mercury (THg) in two fish species (Esox lucius and Carassius auratus) as bio-indicators of the ecosystem condition in eastern part of Anzali Wetland. The sampling was carried out in six different periods between years 2009 and 2010. The results showed that the amounts of PCBs in the muscle of northern pike were below the detection limit of gas chromatography, whereas the average concentration in goldfish was 0.449 mg/kg wet weight. Some possible reasons for the higher levels of PCBs in goldfish in comparison with pike have been discussed. No significant (p < 0.05) correlation was observed between PCBs and biological factors (weight, length, lipid content) for both species. On the other hand, the mean concentration of THg in the muscle of pike and goldfish were 182.22 and 75.27 ng/g dry weight, respectively. Although these concentrations were below US-EPA criterion for human consumption (0.3 mg/kg), it pointed up a significant deterioration of the ecosystem condition during the past years. Finally, statistical analysis revealed a significant correlation between THg with weight and an insignificant correlation with length for pike specimens.

  1. Landscape variability explains spatial pattern of population structure of northern pike (Esox lucius) in a large fluvial system

    PubMed Central

    Ouellet-Cauchon, Geneviève; Mingelbier, Marc; Lecomte, Frédéric; Bernatchez, Louis

    2014-01-01

    A growing number of studies have been investigating the influence of contemporary environmental factors on population genetic structure, but few have addressed the issue of spatial patterns in the variable intensity of factors influencing the extent of population structure, and particularly so in aquatic ecosystems. In this study, we document the landscape genetics of northern pike (Esox lucius), based on the analysis of nearly 3000 individuals from 40 sampling sites using 22 microsatellites along the Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River system (750 km) that locally presents diverse degrees of interannual water level variation. Genetic structure was globally very weak (FST = 0.0208) but spatially variable with mean level of differentiation in the upstream section of the studied area being threefold higher (FST = 0.0297) than observed in the downstream sector (FST = 0.0100). Beside interannual water level fluctuation, 19 additional variables were considered and a multiple regression on distance matrices model (R2 = 0.6397, P < 0.001) revealed that water masses (b = 0.3617, P < 0.001) and man-made dams (b = 0.4852, P < 0.005) reduced genetic connectivity. Local level of interannual water level stability was positively associated to the extent of genetic differentiation (b = 0.3499, P < 0.05). As water level variation impacts on yearly quality and localization of spawning habitats, our study illustrates how temporal variation in local habitat availability, caused by interannual water level fluctuations, may locally decrease population genetic structure by forcing fish to move over longer distances to find suitable habitat. This study thus represents one of the rare examples of how environmental fluctuations may influence spatial variation in the extent of population genetic structure within a given species. PMID:25614787

  2. Landscape variability explains spatial pattern of population structure of northern pike (Esox lucius) in a large fluvial system.

    PubMed

    Ouellet-Cauchon, Geneviève; Mingelbier, Marc; Lecomte, Frédéric; Bernatchez, Louis

    2014-10-01

    A growing number of studies have been investigating the influence of contemporary environmental factors on population genetic structure, but few have addressed the issue of spatial patterns in the variable intensity of factors influencing the extent of population structure, and particularly so in aquatic ecosystems. In this study, we document the landscape genetics of northern pike (Esox lucius), based on the analysis of nearly 3000 individuals from 40 sampling sites using 22 microsatellites along the Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River system (750 km) that locally presents diverse degrees of interannual water level variation. Genetic structure was globally very weak (F ST = 0.0208) but spatially variable with mean level of differentiation in the upstream section of the studied area being threefold higher (F ST = 0.0297) than observed in the downstream sector (F ST = 0.0100). Beside interannual water level fluctuation, 19 additional variables were considered and a multiple regression on distance matrices model (R (2)  = 0.6397, P < 0.001) revealed that water masses (b = 0.3617, P < 0.001) and man-made dams (b = 0.4852, P < 0.005) reduced genetic connectivity. Local level of interannual water level stability was positively associated to the extent of genetic differentiation (b = 0.3499, P < 0.05). As water level variation impacts on yearly quality and localization of spawning habitats, our study illustrates how temporal variation in local habitat availability, caused by interannual water level fluctuations, may locally decrease population genetic structure by forcing fish to move over longer distances to find suitable habitat. This study thus represents one of the rare examples of how environmental fluctuations may influence spatial variation in the extent of population genetic structure within a given species.

  3. Potential of Environmental DNA to Evaluate Northern Pike (Esox lucius) Eradication Efforts: An Experimental Test and Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Dunker, Kristine J.; Sepulveda, Adam J.; Massengill, Robert L.; Olsen, Jeffrey B.; Russ, Ora L.; Wenburg, John K.; Antonovich, Anton

    2016-01-01

    Determining the success of invasive species eradication efforts is challenging because populations at very low abundance are difficult to detect. Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling has recently emerged as a powerful tool for detecting rare aquatic animals; however, detectable fragments of DNA can persist over time despite absence of the targeted taxa and can therefore complicate eDNA sampling after an eradication event. This complication is a large concern for fish eradication efforts in lakes since killed fish can sink to the bottom and slowly decay. DNA released from these carcasses may remain detectable for long periods. Here, we evaluated the efficacy of eDNA sampling to detect invasive Northern pike (Esox lucius) following piscicide eradication efforts in southcentral Alaskan lakes. We used field observations and experiments to test the sensitivity of our Northern pike eDNA assay and to evaluate the persistence of detectable DNA emitted from Northern pike carcasses. We then used eDNA sampling and traditional sampling (i.e., gillnets) to test for presence of Northern pike in four lakes subjected to a piscicide-treatment designed to eradicate this species. We found that our assay could detect an abundant, free-roaming population of Northern pike and could also detect low-densities of Northern pike held in cages. For these caged Northern pike, probability of detection decreased with distance from the cage. We then stocked three lakes with Northern pike carcasses and collected eDNA samples 7, 35 and 70 days post-stocking. We detected DNA at 7 and 35 days, but not at 70 days. Finally, we collected eDNA samples ~ 230 days after four lakes were subjected to piscicide-treatments and detected Northern pike DNA in 3 of 179 samples, with a single detection at each of three lakes, though we did not catch any Northern pike in gillnets. Taken together, we found that eDNA can help to inform eradication efforts if used in conjunction with multiple lines of inquiry and sampling

  4. Potential of Environmental DNA to Evaluate Northern Pike (Esox lucius) Eradication Efforts: An Experimental Test and Case Study.

    PubMed

    Dunker, Kristine J; Sepulveda, Adam J; Massengill, Robert L; Olsen, Jeffrey B; Russ, Ora L; Wenburg, John K; Antonovich, Anton

    2016-01-01

    Determining the success of invasive species eradication efforts is challenging because populations at very low abundance are difficult to detect. Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling has recently emerged as a powerful tool for detecting rare aquatic animals; however, detectable fragments of DNA can persist over time despite absence of the targeted taxa and can therefore complicate eDNA sampling after an eradication event. This complication is a large concern for fish eradication efforts in lakes since killed fish can sink to the bottom and slowly decay. DNA released from these carcasses may remain detectable for long periods. Here, we evaluated the efficacy of eDNA sampling to detect invasive Northern pike (Esox lucius) following piscicide eradication efforts in southcentral Alaskan lakes. We used field observations and experiments to test the sensitivity of our Northern pike eDNA assay and to evaluate the persistence of detectable DNA emitted from Northern pike carcasses. We then used eDNA sampling and traditional sampling (i.e., gillnets) to test for presence of Northern pike in four lakes subjected to a piscicide-treatment designed to eradicate this species. We found that our assay could detect an abundant, free-roaming population of Northern pike and could also detect low-densities of Northern pike held in cages. For these caged Northern pike, probability of detection decreased with distance from the cage. We then stocked three lakes with Northern pike carcasses and collected eDNA samples 7, 35 and 70 days post-stocking. We detected DNA at 7 and 35 days, but not at 70 days. Finally, we collected eDNA samples ~ 230 days after four lakes were subjected to piscicide-treatments and detected Northern pike DNA in 3 of 179 samples, with a single detection at each of three lakes, though we did not catch any Northern pike in gillnets. Taken together, we found that eDNA can help to inform eradication efforts if used in conjunction with multiple lines of inquiry and sampling

  5. Effects of osmolality on sperm morphology, motility and flagellar wave parameters in Northern pike (Esox lucius L.).

    PubMed

    Alavi, S M Hadi; Rodina, Marek; Viveiros, Ana T M; Cosson, Jacky; Gela, David; Boryshpolets, Sergei; Linhart, Otomar

    2009-07-01

    Northern pike (Esox lucius L.) spermatozoa are uniflagellated cells differentiated into a head without acrosome, a midpiece and a flagellar tail region flanked by a fin structure. Total, flagellar, head and midpiece lengths of spermatozoa were measured and show mean values of 34.5, 32.0, 1.32, 1.17 microm, respectively, with anterior and posterior widths of the midpiece measuring 0.8 and 0.6 microm, respectively. The osmolality of seminal plasma ranged from 228 to 350 mOsmol kg(-1) (average: 283.88+/-33.05). After triggering of sperm motility in very low osmolality medium (distilled water), blebs appeared along the flagellum. At later periods in the motility phase, the tip of the flagellum became curled into a loop shape which resulted in a shortening of the flagellum and a restriction of wave development to the proximal part (close to head). Spermatozoa velocity and percentage of motile spermatozoa decreased rapidly as a function of time postactivation and depended on the osmolality of activation media (P<0.05). In general, the greatest percentage of motile spermatozoa and highest spermatozoa velocity were observed between 125 and 235 mOsmol kg(-1). Osmolality above 375 mOsmol kg(-1) inhibited the motility of spermatozoa. After triggering of sperm motility in activation media, beating waves propagated along the full length of flagella, while waves appeared dampened during later periods in the motility phase, and were absent at the end of the motility phase. By increasing osmolality, the velocity of spermatozoa reached the highest value while wave length, amplitude, number of waves and curvatures also were at their highest values. This study showed that sperm morphology can be used for fish classification. Sperm morphology, in particular, the flagellar part showed several changes during activation in distilled water. Sperm motility of pike is inhibited due to high osmolality in the seminal plasma. Osmolality of activation medium affects the percentage of motile

  6. Potential of environmental DNA to evaluate Northern pike (Esox lucius) eradication efforts: An experimental test and case study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dunker, Kristine J.; Sepulveda, Adam; Massengill, Robert L.; Olsen, Jeffrey B.; Russ, Ora L.; Wenburg, John K.; Antonovich, Anton

    2016-01-01

    Determining the success of invasive species eradication efforts is challenging because populations at very low abundance are difficult to detect. Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling has recently emerged as a powerful tool for detecting rare aquatic animals; however, detectable fragments of DNA can persist over time despite absence of the targeted taxa and can therefore complicate eDNA sampling after an eradication event. This complication is a large concern for fish eradication efforts in lakes since killed fish can sink to the bottom and slowly decay. DNA released from these carcasses may remain detectable for long periods. Here, we evaluated the efficacy of eDNA sampling to detect invasive Northern pike (Esox lucius) following piscicide eradication efforts in southcentral Alaskan lakes. We used field observations and experiments to test the sensitivity of our Northern pike eDNA assay and to evaluate the persistence of detectable DNA emitted from Northern pike carcasses. We then used eDNA sampling and traditional sampling (i.e., gillnets) to test for presence of Northern pike in four lakes subjected to a piscicide-treatment designed to eradicate this species. We found that our assay could detect an abundant, free-roaming population of Northern pike and could also detect low-densities of Northern pike held in cages. For these caged Northern pike, probability of detection decreased with distance from the cage. We then stocked three lakes with Northern pike carcasses and collected eDNA samples 7, 35 and 70 days post-stocking. We detected DNA at 7 and 35 days, but not at 70 days. Finally, we collected eDNA samples ~ 230 days after four lakes were subjected to piscicide-treatments and detected Northern pike DNA in 3 of 179 samples, with a single detection at each of three lakes, though we did not catch any Northern pike in gillnets. Taken together, we found that eDNA can help to inform eradication efforts if used in conjunction with multiple lines of inquiry and sampling

  7. Investigation of first year biotic and abiotic influences on the recruitment of pike Esox lucius over 48 years in Windermere, UK.

    PubMed

    Paxton, C G M; Winfield, I J; Fletcher, J M; George, D G; Hewitt, D P

    2009-07-01

    Estimated pike Esox lucius recruitment varied by a factor of 16 for females from 1944 to 1991 and by a factor of 27 for males from 1943 to 1990 in Windermere, a temperate, mesotrophic U.K. lake. No significant stock-recruitment relationships were found, but analysis with general additive models (GAMs) revealed that early autumnal water temperature, strength and direction of the North Atlantic Oscillation displacement (corresponding to different climatic conditions in winter) and zooplankton abundance but above all, late summer water temperature were important explanatory variables over the entire time series. Female recruitment was also influenced by young-of-the-year winter temperature. There was no evidence that perch Perca fluviatilis year-class strength, lake level or the summer position of the Gulf Stream influenced recruitment. The fitted models explained up to c. 65% of the overall observed variation between years.

  8. Environmental factors regulate the effects of roach Rutilus rutilus and pike Esox lucius on perch Perca fluviatilis populations in small boreal forest lakes.

    PubMed

    Olin, M; Vinni, M; Lehtonen, H; Rask, M; Ruuhijärvi, J; Saulamo, K; Ala-Opas, P

    2010-04-01

    In this study of 18 small boreal forest lakes, the effects of abiotic and biotic factors (roach Rutilus rutilus and pike Esox lucius) on various population variables of perch Perca fluviatilis were examined. As a single variable, the gillnet catch per unit effort (CPUE) of R. rutilus was negatively related to the mean mass of small (< 200 mm) and the growth rate of young (1-2 years) P. fluviatilis. The mean mass of large (> or = 200 mm) P. fluviatilis was the highest at intermediate CPUE of R. rutilus. Redundancy analysis including environmental factors and P. fluviatilis population variables suggested that 'predation-productivity-humus' gradient affected P. fluviatilis populations by decreasing the CPUE and mean mass of small individuals but increasing these variables of large individuals. The CPUE of R. rutilus and lake area had a negative effect on small and a positive effect on large P. fluviatilis growth rate. In small boreal forest lakes, P. fluviatilis populations are affected by the partially opposite forces of competition by R. rutilus and predation by E. lucius, and the intensity of these interactions is regulated by several environmental factors.

  9. Bioenergetics and growth of young-of the-year northern pike (Esox lucius) and burbot (Lota lota) exposed to metal mining effluent.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Pamela M; Janz, David M

    2007-09-01

    We hypothesized that exposure to metal mining effluent would reduce the ability of young-of-the-year fishes to accumulate energy reserves to survive the overwinter period (known as "winter stress syndrome") in a Canadian boreal forest watershed. Northern pike (Esox lucius) and burbot (Lota lota) were collected immediately before and after winter from a reference lake and two lakes receiving effluent. Unexpectedly, total body lipid and triglyceride, and liver triglyceride levels were greater in effluent-exposed pike and burbot in both fall and spring. However, there were no lake or season differences in growth indices of length, weight, muscle RNA/DNA ratio, or muscle protein levels in pike. In addition, total lipids and triglycerides in burbot were greater in spring compared to fall, while no seasonal differences were observed in pike, suggesting that burbot continued to feed during winter. Findings do not support the winter stress syndrome hypothesis and suggest possible direct and indirect effects of metal mining effluent on lipid dynamics of juvenile fishes.

  10. Perfluoroalkylphosphinic Acids in Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Double-Crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), and Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Relation to Other Perfluoroalkyl Acids.

    PubMed

    De Silva, Amila O; Spencer, Christine; Ho, Ki Chung D; Al Tarhuni, Mohammed; Go, Christopher; Houde, Magali; de Solla, Shane R; Lavoie, Raphael A; King, Laura E; Muir, Derek C G; Fair, Patricia A; Wells, Randall S; Bossart, Gregory D

    2016-10-18

    Perfluoroalkyl phosphinic acids (PFPIAs) are perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) that are used for their surfactant properties in a variety of applications, resulting in their presence in environmental waters; however, they have not been widely studied in biota. A survey of PFPIAs was conducted in fish, dolphins, and birds from various locations in North America. Northern pike (Esox lucius) were collected at two locations in 2011 near Montréal Island in the St. Lawrence River, Canada, double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) were collected from bird colonies in the Great Lakes in 2010-2012, and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Sarasota Bay, FL and Charleston Harbor, SC were sampled in 2004-2009. PFPIAs had a detection frequency of 100% in all animals. This is the first report of PFPIAs in fish, dolphin, and bird plasma. Total PFPIA levels (mean ± standard deviation, 1.87 ± 2.17 ng/g wet weight (ww), range of 0.112-15.3 ng/g ww) were 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than those of perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCA) and perfluoroalkanesulfonates (PFSA) in the same samples. The predominant congeners were 6:8 PFPIA (cormorants and pike) and 6:6 PFPIA (dolphins). Total PFPIAs in cormorants from Hamilton Harbour (5.02 ± 2.80 ng/g ww) were statistically higher than in other areas and taxonomic groups. The ubiquity of PFPIAs warrants further research on sources and effects of these unique compounds.

  11. Uptake and distribution of (/sup 3/H)benzo(a)pyrene in the Northern pike (Esox lucius). Examination by whole-body autoradiography and scintillation counting

    SciTech Connect

    Balk, L.; Meijer, J.; DePierre, J.W.; Appelgren, L.E.

    1984-07-01

    The uptake and distribution of the polyaromatic hydrocarbon benzo(a)pyrene in Northern pike (Esox lucius) were investigated by whole body autoradiography and scintillation counting. (/sup 3/H)Benzo(a)pyrene was administered either in the diet or in the water. The uptake and distribution of this compound and its metabolites were followed from 10 hr to 21 days after the initial exposure. The autoradiography patterns observed here with both routes of administration suggest, as expected, that benzo(a)pyrene is taken up through the gastrointestinal system and the gills, metabolized in the liver, and excreted in the urine and bile. Other findings indicate that the gills may not be a major route of excretion for benzo(a)pyrene and its metabolites in the Northern pike; that benzo(a)pyrene may be taken up from the water directly into the skin of this fish; that benzo(a)pyrene and its metabolites are heterogeneously distributed in the kidney of the Northern pike; and that very little radioactivity accumulates in the adipose tissue. With scintillation counting, uptake of radioactivity from the water was found to occur rapidly in all organs, reaching a plateau in most cases after about 0.8 days. The concentrations of radioactivity in different organs ranged between 50 (many organs) and 80,000 (gallbladder + bile) times that found in the surrounding water.

  12. Salmo salar and Esox lucius full-length cDNA sequences reveal changes in evolutionary pressures on a post-tetraploidization genome

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Salmonids are one of the most intensely studied fish, in part due to their economic and environmental importance, and in part due to a recent whole genome duplication in the common ancestor of salmonids. This duplication greatly impacts species diversification, functional specialization, and adaptation. Extensive new genomic resources have recently become available for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), but documentation of allelic versus duplicate reference genes remains a major uncertainty in the complete characterization of its genome and its evolution. Results From existing expressed sequence tag (EST) resources and three new full-length cDNA libraries, 9,057 reference quality full-length gene insert clones were identified for Atlantic salmon. A further 1,365 reference full-length clones were annotated from 29,221 northern pike (Esox lucius) ESTs. Pairwise dN/dS comparisons within each of 408 sets of duplicated salmon genes using northern pike as a diploid out-group show asymmetric relaxation of selection on salmon duplicates. Conclusions 9,057 full-length reference genes were characterized in S. salar and can be used to identify alleles and gene family members. Comparisons of duplicated genes show that while purifying selection is the predominant force acting on both duplicates, consistent with retention of functionality in both copies, some relaxation of pressure on gene duplicates can be identified. In addition, there is evidence that evolution has acted asymmetrically on paralogs, allowing one of the pair to diverge at a faster rate. PMID:20433749

  13. Metabolic enzymes activity and histomorphology in the liver of whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus L.) and pike (Esox lucius L.) inhabiting a mineral contaminated lake.

    PubMed

    Churova, Maria V; Murzina, Svetlana A; Meshcheryakova, Olga V; Nemova, Nina N

    2014-12-01

    The effects of wastewater from a mining and ore-dressing mill on fish in Lake Kostomukshskoe, which is used as a cesspool of circulating water and for storage of industrial wastes produced by the Kostomuksha mining and ore-dressing mill in northwest Russia, were studied. The lake is characterized by heavy mineralization, high pH, elevated levels of K(+), Li(+), SO4 (2-), NO(2-), Cl(-), Li, Mn, and Ni, and the presence of a fine-dispersed mechanical suspension. To assess the impact of contamination on fish and determine the mechanisms of their adaptation, we investigated the biochemical indices and histology of the liver of whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus L.) and pike (Esox lucius L.) inhabiting Lake Kostomukshskoe, downstream Lake Koyvas (64° 47' 30° 59'), and Lake Kamennoe, which is located in a nature preserve and has not been affected by anthropogenic activity (64° 28' 30° 13'). Changes were detected in the activity of metabolic enzymes (cytochrome c oxidase (COX), lactate dehydrogenase, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) in the liver. Specifically, the COX activity in the liver of both fish species from the contaminated lake decreased, indicating a low level of aerobic metabolism. Lipid infiltration was the most visible and widespread change observed in the liver of both fish species; therefore, it can be considered a marker of such long-term contamination. Lesions in pike liver demonstrated a wider range of severity than in those of whitefish. In summary, metabolic enzyme activity and histomorphology of the liver of whitefish and pike differed among lakes in a species-specific manner. The changes in enzyme activity and histomorphological alterations in fish that were observed can be applied for evaluation of freshwater systems that may be subjected to mineral pollution.

  14. Assessment of larval deformities and selenium accumulation in northern pike (Esox lucius) and white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) exposed to metal mining effluent.

    PubMed

    Muscatello, Jorgelina R; Janz, David M

    2009-03-01

    Uranium mining and milling operations in northern Saskatchewan (Canada) release effluents with elevated levels of certain trace metals and metalloids, including selenium. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the presence of selenium-induced deformities in northern pike (Esox lucius) and white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) larvae originating from adults collected downstream of a uranium mine. Eggs were fertilized in the field and incubated in the laboratory following a two-way (crossover) analysis-of-variance experimental design to discriminate effects from maternal transfer versus those from exposure to site water in the developing embryos. Selenium concentrations in northern pike and white sucker eggs (8.02 and 4.89 microg/g dry wt, respectively; mean +/- standard error throughout) from the exposure site were approximately two- to threefold higher than reference (2.35 +/- 0.20 and 1.94 +/- 0.25 microg/g dry wt, respectively). Among all evaluated deformities (skeletal curvatures, craniofacial deformities, fin deformities, and edema), only edema in white sucker fry from the exposure site was slightly elevated ( approximately 3%) compared to reference. The occurrence of edema, however, can be associated with factors other than selenium (e.g., other metals and organic compounds). Both fish species displayed strong linear relationships between the selenium concentrations in eggs and other tissues (muscle, liver, kidney, and bone), suggesting that selenium concentrations in eggs could be predicted from selenium concentrations in adult tissues. The lack of a clear, toxic response in the present study is in agreement with selenium thresholds for early life-stage deformities reported in other studies, with egg selenium concentrations in northern pike and white sucker collected at the exposure site being less than the 10 microg/g (dry wt) threshold associated with the presence of deformities.

  15. The effect of hatching time on the bioenergetics of northern pike (Esox lucius) larvae from a single egg batch during the endogenous feeding period.

    PubMed

    Trabelsi, Awatef; Jaworski, Andrzej; Kamler, Ewa; Gardeur, Jean-Noël; Teletchea, Fabrice; Ayadi, Habib; Fontaine, Pascal

    2016-04-01

    Size, caloric value and chemical composition were measured separately in the progeny of two northern pike (Esox lucius) females at 3-day intervals during the endogenous feeding period from hatching to final yolk resorption. Tissue, yolk and entire larvae were analysed separately in three groups of larvae that hatched at different times (between 88 and 106 degree-days post-fertilization). An integrated approach with the Gompertz model was used to compute the yolk conversion efficiency and time to maximum tissue size in early, mid and late hatched larvae. At hatching, unresorbed yolk of early hatched larvae contained more energy (39.20 J) and more protein (0.99 mg) compared to the yolk of larvae that hatched later (38.13 J and 0.92 mg protein for late hatched larvae, p < 0.05). In contrast, a significant reduction in tissue weight (-0.7 mg DW) and protein content (-0.5 mg) was found in early hatched larvae compared to those which hatched later (p < 0.05). Between days 9 and 12 post-hatching (108 and 144 degree-days post-hatching), close to the final yolk resorption, late hatched larvae stopped growing and their tissue began to be resorbed. This tissue resorption time was delayed in early hatched larvae which presented at the end of the experiment a greater tissue weight than late hatched ones. Yolk conversion efficiency in term of energy from hatching to complete yolk resorption stage was significantly higher for early and mid hatched larvae (51%) compared to late hatched ones (44%) (p = 0.004). Furthermore, the time to maximum tissue size was found to be negatively related to hatching time which implies that early hatched larvae take longer time to switch from one developmental stage to the next. The maximum tissue dry weight and energy content were found to be reached at approximately the same age post-fertilization for both early hatched and late hatched larvae, suggesting that the principal steps in a fish's lifespan are better correlated with time of

  16. Gill reaction to pollutants from the Tamiš River in three freshwater fish species, Esox lucius L. 1758, Sander lucioperca (L. 1758) and Silurus glanis L. 1758: a comparative study.

    PubMed

    Lujić, J; Matavulj, M; Poleksić, V; Rašković, B; Marinović, Z; Kostić, D; Miljanović, B

    2015-04-01

    The study evaluated the effects of waterborne pollutants from the Tamiš River on gill histology and possible differences in gill reaction patterns between three freshwater fish species, pike Esox lucius L. 1758, pike-perch Sander lucioperca (L. 1758) and wels catfish Silurus glanis L. 1758 from the Tamiš River. Gills from analysed fish species showed moderate to intense histopathological alterations. The most frequent progressive alteration was hyperplasia of epithelium, whereas the most frequent regressive alteration was epithelial lifting. Circulatory disturbances were most often manifested in the form of hyperaemia. During comparative analysis, differences in gill indices, reaction and alteration indices, as well as in gill and filament prevalence between analysed species, were observed. Although all analysed fish species did show both progressive and regressive alterations, there was a significant difference in the level of expression of these reaction patterns. Gill index obtained for pike clearly stands out as the lowest. Wels catfish showed the highest progressive reaction index, significantly higher in comparison with the other two species (P < 0.05), while pike-perch showed the highest regressive reaction index, also significantly higher in comparison with the other species (P < 0.001). These results may implicate species-specific gill reactions and thus present a useful tool for better understanding toxic mechanisms of various pollutants.

  17. Development of new microsatellite loci and multiplex reactions for muskellunge (Esox masquinongy)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sloss, Brian L.; Franckowiak, R.P.; Murphy, E.L.

    2008-01-01

    The muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) is a valued fisheries species throughout its native range. Numerous studies have documented performance and phenotypic differences among muskellunge populations, but genetic markers for assessment have been lacking. We characterized 14 microsatellite loci and developed five multiplex polymerase chain reactions. Successful amplification of northern pike (Esox lucius) was observed for seven loci. These microsatellites will be useful for analysing population structure, performance characteristics of propagated strains, and helping to develop and monitor hatchery management guidelines for muskellunge. ?? 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  18. Mitochondrial genome of Esox flaviae (Southern pike): announcement and comparison with other Esocidae.

    PubMed

    Gandolfi, Andrea; Fontaneto, Diego; Natali, Mauro; Lucentini, Livia

    2016-07-01

    Pikes are fish species belonging to order Esociformes, family Esocidae, genus Esox. Species of the genus Esox are common, large, and economically important for food and fishing activities. Recently, a new species, southern pike E. flaviae, was described for a well-studied area such as Italy, using also two mtDNA markers: cox1 and cytb. A scant number of remnant populations of the species persist in Italy, threatened by habitat loss and degradation and by competition and possible hybridization with E. lucius, massively and recurrently stocked to sustain angling pressure. The availability of new mtDNA markers will possibly contribute to the conservation of the species. Currently, whole mitogenome information for the genus is available only for E. lucius and for E. reichertii. The aim of the present paper is to report novel mitogenomic information for southern pike.

  19. Molecular and phenotypic evidence of a new species of genus Esox (Esocidae, Esociformes, Actinopterygii): the southern pike, Esox flaviae.

    PubMed

    Lucentini, Livia; Puletti, Maria Elena; Ricciolini, Claudia; Gigliarelli, Lilia; Fontaneto, Diego; Lanfaloni, Luisa; Bilò, Fabiana; Natali, Mauro; Panara, Fausto

    2011-01-01

    We address the taxonomic position of the southern European individuals of pike, performing a series of tests and comparisons from morphology, DNA taxonomy and population genetics parameters, in order to support the hypothesis that two species of pike, and not only one, exist in Europe. A strong relationship emerged between a northern genotype supported by COI, Cytb, AFLP and specific fragments, and a phenotype with round spot skin colour pattern and a large number of scales in the lateral line, clearly separated from a southern genotype with other skin colour pattern and a low number of scales in the lateral line. DNA taxonomy, based on a coalescent approach (GMYC) from phylogenetic reconstructions on COI and Cytb together with AFLP admixture analysis, supported the existence of two independently evolving entities. Such differences are not simply due to geographic distances, as northern European samples are more similar to Canadian and Chinese samples than the southern Europe ones. Thus, given that the differences between the two groups of European pike are significant at the phenotypic, genotypic and geographical levels, we propose the identification of two pike species: the already known northern pike (Esox lucius) and the southern pike (E. flaviae n.sp.). The correct identification of these two lineages as independent species should give rise to a ban on the introduction of northern pikes in southern Europe for recreational fishing, due to potential problems of hybridisation.

  20. Fluence rate or cumulative dose? Vulnerability of larval northern pike (Esox lucius) to ultraviolet radiation.

    PubMed

    Vehniäinen, E-R; Häkkinen, Jani M; Oikari, Aimo O J

    2007-01-01

    Newly hatched larvae of northern pike were exposed in the laboratory to four fluence rates of ultraviolet radiation (UVR; 290-400 nm) over three different time periods, resulting in total doses ranging from 3.0 +/- 0.2 to 63.0 +/- 4.4 kJ.m(-2). Mortality and behavior of the larvae were followed for 8-12 days, and growth measured at the end of the experiment. Also, the principle of reciprocity-that the UVR-induced mortality depends on the cumulative dose, independent of fluence rate-was tested. Fluence rates higher than 1480 +/- 150 mW.m(-2) caused mortality and growth retardation. The highest fluence rate (3040 +/- 210 mW.m(-2)) caused 100% mortality in 5 days. All fluence rates caused behavioral disorders, which led to death at fluence rates higher than 1480 mW.m(-2). Reciprocity failure occurred with the lowest and highest dose (550 +/- 45 and 3040 +/- 210 mW.m(-2), respectively). The results show that fluence rate is of primary importance when assessing the UVR-related risk.

  1. Fine-scale oscillatory banding in otoliths from arctic charr (Salveninus alpinus) and pike (Esox lucius)

    SciTech Connect

    Meldrum, A.; Halden, N.M.

    1997-12-31

    Transmission electron microscopy of otoliths from the inner ear of arctic charr and pike has revealed the presence of fine banding on the scale of several nanometers. The thickness of the bands was observed to vary in different portions of the sample, and some areas were not banded. EDS analysis could not detect chemical differences within the bands, but electron diffraction showed that the crystallographic orientation of the bands is related by a lattice mismatch. Previously, banding on the scale of 50 to 100 microns was observed by SEM in otoliths from arctic charr and was attributed to seasonal variations in growth. The fine-scale banding observed in this study, however, is unlikely to represent a daily variation. Electron diffraction from the pike samples shows that the material is composed of CaCO{sub 3} having the both the vaterite and aragonite structure, and hydrous CaCO{sub 3} was also observed. The large-scale banding previously identified by SEM was not observed in the TEM despite attempts to intersect the boundaries of the micron-sized layers. The interaction of the electron beam with the sample material was investigated by conducting several electron-irradiation experiments. The electron beam was observed to interact strongly with the sample and caused the precipitation of cubic CaO from the calcium carbonate matrix. Bright-field imaging showed the development of fine grained ({approximately} 5 nm) randomly oriented crystallites which accumulated with increasing electron dose. These initial results suggest that the precipitation of CaO is not driven by electron-beam beating. Previously, a similar phase-change phenomenon has been observed in hydroxyapatite from dental enamel. Other Ca-bearing biominerals may therefore also be expected to be sensitive to electron irradiation.

  2. Pike Esox Lucius Distribution and Feeding Comparisons in Natural and Historically Channelized River Sections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanovs, Kaspars

    2016-12-01

    During the last century a large portion of small and medium-sized rivers in Latvia were channelized, hydroelectric power stations were also built, which led to changes in the hydrodynamic conditions, geomorphological structure, as well as a change in the fish fauna. Fish are an integral part of any community in natural or man-made bodies of water. They actively participate in maintaining the system, balancing/equilibrium, energy, substance transformation and biomass production. They are able to influence other organisms in the ecosystem in which they live. The aim of the paper "Pike distribution and feeding comparisons in natural and historically channelized river sections" is to find out what pike feed on in different environments in Latvian rivers, such as natural and straightened river sections, as well as what main factors determine the composition of their food. Several points were assessed during the course of the study: the impact of environmental conditions on the feeding habits and the distribution of pike; the general feeding habits of predators in Latvian rivers; the feeding differences of predators in natural and straightened river sections; and lastly, rhithral and pothamal habitats were compared. The study was based on data from 2014 and 2015 on fish fauna monitoring. During the study, 347 pike were collected from 136 plots using electrofishing method.

  3. Length-weight relationship of northern pike, Esox lucius, from East Harbor, Ohio

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, Edward H.; Clark, Clarence F.

    1965-01-01

    The northern pike is one of Ohio's largest game fish but is well known to comparatively few anglers. Large numbers of the big fish spawn in the Ohio marshes adjacent to Lake Erie. Movements related to spawning reach a peak in late March or early April. Later the spawning population disperses and is seldom represented in catches by experimental gear or by anglers. The short period of availability was used to obtain life history information in March of 1951 through 1953. No comprehensive length-weight data for this species have previously been published from this area. East Harbor is a sandspit pond separated from Lake Erie by a large sand bar. Waters and fish populations of the harbor and lake can mix freely through a permanent connecting channel. The larger part of the 850 surface acres of the harbor is normally less than 8 feet deep. The male northern pike averaged 20.5 inches in length and ranged from 13.5 to 28.5 inches. The conspicuously larger females averaged 26.0 inches and ranged from 15.5 to 37.5 inches.

  4. Four decades of opposing natural and human-induced artificial selection acting on Windermere pike (Esox lucius).

    PubMed

    Carlson, Stephanie M; Edeline, Eric; Asbjørn Vøllestad, L; Haugen, Thrond O; Winfield, Ian J; Fletcher, Janice M; Ben James, J; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2007-06-01

    The ability of natural selection to drive local adaptation has been appreciated ever since Darwin. Whether human impacts can impede the adaptive process has received less attention. We tested this hypothesis by quantifying natural selection and harvest selection acting on a freshwater fish (pike) over four decades. Across the time series, directional natural selection tended to favour large individuals whereas the fishery targeted large individuals. Moreover, non-linear natural selection tended to favour intermediate sized fish whereas the fishery targeted intermediate sized fish because the smallest and largest individuals were often not captured. Thus, our results unequivocally demonstrate that natural selection and fishery selection often acted in opposite directions within this natural system. Moreover, the two selective factors combined to produce reduced fitness overall and stronger stabilizing selection relative to natural selection acting alone. The long-term ramifications of such human-induced modifications to adaptive landscapes are currently unknown and certainly warrant further investigation.

  5. Pathogenicity of the gill artery worm Philometra obturans (Nematoda) in northern pike (Esox lucius) in southwest Finland.

    PubMed

    Kåll, S; Fagerholm, H P; Sarvala, J

    2004-02-01

    The pathogenicity of female Philometra obturans (Prenant, 1886) was investigated. Fish samples were taken in May and June 2001 from Lake Littoistenjärvi, in southwest Finland. The intensity of infection varied between 1 and 4 worms, these being found in the afferent artery of the 2 outermost gill arches. The prevalence was 33.9% (n = 59). Host condition and tissue reactions were investigated through dissection and analysis of histopathology. The parasites obstructed the gill arteries, and the arterial wall was stretched around intact worms. Hypertrophy of the arterial wall was observed, especially when only disintegrating remains of the parasites were present. Infected pike were in a poorer condition after catch, transportation, and holding in aquaria and thus less tolerant to stress than uninfected pike. This was correlated with the number of infected gill arteries (P < 0.05). The results show that infection with this nematode has a detrimental effect on the host when combined with environmental or physiological stress and may result in host mortality.

  6. Investigation of parasites of pikes (Esox lucius Linnaeus, 1785) from Chamkhale River, Anzali and Amirkelayeh wetlands, Iran.

    PubMed

    Sadrinejad, Ali; Khara, Hossein; Gudarzi, Majid

    2016-09-01

    To investigate the health status, the parasite diversity and abundance were studied in three pike populations. For this purpose, totally 90 fish were caught from three natural habitats of pike including Chamkhale River, Anzali and Amirkelayeh wetlands, Iran. After biometry and age determination, fish were dissected and parasites were investigated in intestine, gill and eye. According to results, five parasite species were identified in whole body of pikes including Eustrongylides exises, Raphidascaris acus and Triaeophorus crassus in intestine, Tetraonchus monenteron in gill and Diplostomum spathaceum in eye. The highest values of quantitative indices of parasite population [i.e. incidence percent (86.66 %), mean intensity (60.83 ± 39.92), mean abundance (58.14 ± 34.6) and abundance range (1-232)] were recorded for T. monenteron in all three sampling regions. The lowest values of these quantitative indices were found for D. spathaceum, E. exises and Tetraonchus crassus in Anzali wetland, Chamkhale River and Amirkelayeh wetland respectively. In 2, 3 and 4 years old pikes, T. monenteron had the highest values of quantitative indices of parasite population. In conclusion, our results showed that Anzali wetland have more parasite pollution compared to other sampling regions. This may be due to the more rapid eutrophication in this wetland compared to Amirkelayeh wetland and Chamkhale River.

  7. UV-B exposure causes DNA damage and changes in protein expression in northern pike (Esox lucius) posthatched embryos.

    PubMed

    Vehniäinen, Eeva-Riikka; Vähäkangas, Kirsi; Oikari, Aimo

    2012-01-01

    The ongoing anthropogenically caused ozone depletion and climate change has increased the amount of biologically harmful UV-B radiation, which is detrimental to fish in embryonal stages. The effects of UV-B radiation on the levels and locations of DNA damage manifested as cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs), heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) and p53 protein in newly hatched embryos of pike were examined. Pike larvae were exposed in the laboratory to current and enhanced doses of UV-B radiation. UV-B exposure caused the formation of CPDs in a fluence rate-dependent manner, and the CPDs were found deeper in the tissues with increasing fluence rates. UV-B radiation induced HSP70 in epidermis, and caused plausible p53 activation in the brain and epidermis of some individuals. Also at a fluence rate occurring in nature, the DNA damage in the brain and eyes of pike and changes in protein expression were followed by severe behavioral disorders, suggesting that neural molecular changes were associated with functional consequences.

  8. Historical analysis of genetic variation reveals low effective population size in a northern pike (Esox lucius) population.

    PubMed

    Miller, L M; Kapuscinski, A R

    1997-11-01

    Effective population size (Ne) of a natural fish population was estimated from temporal changes in allele frequencies at seven microsatellite loci. Use of a historical collection of fish scales made it possible to increase the precision of estimates by increasing the time interval between samples and to use an equation developed for discrete generations without correcting for demographic parameters. Estimates of Ne for the time intervals 1961-1977 and 1977-1993 were 35 and 72, respectively. For the entire interval, 1961-1993, the estimate of Ne was 48 when based on a weighted mean derived from the above two estimates or 125 when calculated from 1961 and 1993 samples only. Corresponding ratios of effective size to adult census size ranged from 0.03 to 0.14. An Ne of 48 over a 32-year period would imply that this population lost as much as 8% of its heterozygosity in that time. Results suggest the potential for using genetic methods based on microsatellite loci data to compare historical trends in Ne with population dynamic parameters. Such comparisons will help to evaluate the relationship between genetic diversity and long-term persistence of natural populations.

  9. Historical Analysis of Genetic Variation Reveals Low Effective Population Size in a Northern Pike (Esox Lucius) Population

    PubMed Central

    Miller, L. M.; Kapuscinski, A. R.

    1997-01-01

    Effective population size (N(e)) of a natural fish population was estimated from temporal changes in allele frequencies at seven microsatellite loci. Use of a historical collection of fish scales made it possible to increase the precision of estimates by increasing the time interval between samples and to use an equation developed for discrete generations without correcting for demographic parameters. Estimates of N(e) for the time intervals 1961-1977 and 1977-1993 were 35 and 72, respectively. For the entire interval, 1961-1993, the estimate of N(e) was 48 when based on a weighted mean derived from the above two estimates or 125 when calculated from 1961 and 1993 samples only. Corresponding ratios of effective size to adult census size ranged from 0.03 to 0.14. An N(e) of 48 over a 32-year period would imply that this population lost as much as 8% of its heterozygosity in that time. Results suggest the potential for using genetic methods based on microsatellite loci data to compare historical trends in N(e) with population dynamic parameters. Such comparisons will help to evaluate the relationship between genetic diversity and long-term persistence of natural populations. PMID:9383067

  10. Complete mitochondrial genome of Esox reichertii (Amur pike).

    PubMed

    Liu, Yu; Yang, Jun

    2015-01-01

    The whole mitochondrial genome of Esox reichertii (fish) was first sequenced and characterized. It was determined to be 16,909 bp long, which contains the control region (CR), the origin of light-strand replication (OL), 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal genes and 13 protein-coding genes. Overall base composition of the complete mitochondrial DNA was 28.65% A, 28.67% T, 27.28% C and 15.41% G, with 57.32%AT.

  11. Forage Budgeting

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pasture management in tropical agro-ecosystems is challenging because of unique soil, climate, and animal interactions. Budgeting forage as part of the grazing system can be difficult because of the strong seasonality of forage production and rapidly changing forage quality. Planning, measuring, and...

  12. Stocking impact and temporal stability of genetic composition in a brackish northern pike population (Esox lucius L.), assessed using microsatellite DNA analysis of historical and contemporary samples.

    PubMed

    Larsen, P F; Hansen, M M; Nielsen, E E; Jensen, L F; Loeschcke, V

    2005-08-01

    During the last decade, brackish northern pike populations in Denmark have been subject to stocking programmes, using nonindigenous pike from freshwater lakes, in order to compensate for drastic population declines. The present study was designed to investigate the genetic impact of stocking freshwater pike into a brackish pike population in Stege Nor, Denmark. We analysed polymorphism at eight microsatellite loci in samples representing the indigenous Stege Nor population prior to stocking (ie from 1956 to 1957), along with a sample of the contemporary Stege Nor population and samples from the three populations used for stocking. Despite large numbers of stocked fry, the results from both individual and population level admixture analyses demonstrated extremely poor performance and <1% introgression of stocked freshwater pike into the brackish pike population. Furthermore, pairwise F(ST) estimates between samples demonstrated close genetic relationship among temporal samples from Stege Nor, indicating temporal stability over the last 45 years. We also estimated the effective population size (N(e)) of pike in Stege Nor and applied a test for recent population bottlenecks. The harmonic mean of N(e) was relatively high (>250), but there were indications of bottlenecks in all samples and populations. We ascribe this finding to historical rather than recent bottlenecks, possibly dating back to founder events associated with postglacial recolonisation.

  13. The genome and linkage map of the northern pike (Esox lucius): conserved synteny revealed between the salmonid sister group and the Neoteleostei.

    PubMed

    Rondeau, Eric B; Minkley, David R; Leong, Jong S; Messmer, Amber M; Jantzen, Johanna R; von Schalburg, Kristian R; Lemon, Craig; Bird, Nathan H; Koop, Ben F

    2014-01-01

    The northern pike is the most frequently studied member of the Esociformes, the closest order to the diverse and economically important Salmoniformes. The ancestor of all salmonids purportedly experienced a whole-genome duplication (WGD) event, making salmonid species ideal for studying the early impacts of genome duplication while complicating their use in wider analyses of teleost evolution. Studies suggest that the Esociformes diverged from the salmonid lineage prior to the WGD, supporting the use of northern pike as a pre-duplication outgroup. Here we present the first genome assembly, reference transcriptome and linkage map for northern pike, and evaluate the suitability of this species to provide a representative pre-duplication genome for future studies of salmonid and teleost evolution. The northern pike genome sequence is composed of 94,267 contigs (N50 = 16,909 bp) contained in 5,688 scaffolds (N50 = 700,535 bp); the total scaffolded genome size is 878 million bases. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that over 96% of the protein-coding genome is present in the genome assembly. The reference transcriptome was constructed from 13 tissues and contains 38,696 transcripts, which are accompanied by normalized expression data in all tissues. Gene-prediction analysis produced a total of 19,601 northern pike-specific gene models. The first-generation linkage map identifies 25 linkage groups, in agreement with northern pike's diploid karyotype of 2N = 50, and facilitates the placement of 46% of assembled bases onto linkage groups. Analyses reveal a high degree of conserved synteny between northern pike and other model teleost genomes. While conservation of gene order is limited to smaller syntenic blocks, the wider conservation of genome organization implies the northern pike exhibits a suitable approximation of a non-duplicated Protacanthopterygiian genome. This dataset will facilitate future studies of esocid biology and empower ongoing examinations of the Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout genomes by facilitating their comparison with other major teleost groups.

  14. The contribution of ventricular apicobasal and transmural repolarization patterns to the development of the T wave body surface potentials in frogs (Rana temporaria) and pike (Esox lucius).

    PubMed

    Vaykshnorayte, Marina A; Azarov, Jan E; Tsvetkova, Alena S; Vityazev, Vladimir A; Ovechkin, Alexey O; Shmakov, Dmitry N

    2011-05-01

    The study aimed at the simultaneous determination of the transmural and apicobasal differences in the repolarization timing and the comparison of the contributions of these two repolarization gradients to the development of the body surface T wave potentials in animals with the single heart ventricle (fishes and amphibians). Unipolar potentials were measured on the body surface, epicardium and in the intramural (subepicardial, Epi; midmyocardial; and subendocardial, Endo) ventricular layers of 9 pike and 8 frogs. Activation times, repolarization times and activation-recovery intervals were determined. A transmural gradient in repolarization durations in frogs (Endo>Epi, P<0.024) corresponds to the gradient in repolarization times. No significant transmural difference in repolarization duration is observed in pike that produces a repolarization sequence from Endo to Epi (Endo

  15. Spatial relations of mercury contents in Pike (Esox lucius) and sediments concentration of the Anzali wetland, along the southern shores of the Caspian Sea, Iran.

    PubMed

    Zamani-Ahmadmahmoodi, Rasool; Bakhtiari, Alireza Riyahi; Rodríguez Martín, José Antonio

    2014-07-15

    In recent decades, the Anzali wetland has been threatened and destroyed by environmental pollution from several sources. The purpose of this study was to determine the possible relationships between mercury concentrations in Pike and their respective sediments within the assumed multiple activity center scales of Pike (100, 250 and 500 m in radius). To gain a better understanding spatial distribution pattern of Hg in sediments and to pursue the main purpose of this study, kriging (geostatistic spatial interpolation method) was applied. Poor relationships were found between mercury concentrations of Pike and sediments within the assumed multiple activity center scales of Pike. The mercury sediment influence diminished with the increasing radii of assumed activity centers. The results of the present study indicate that fish and sediment mercury concentrations in western parts of the Anzali wetland were low in comparison with the concentrations reported in the literature from other regions.

  16. Reproductive status and lipid content as factors in PCB, DDT and HCH contamination of a population of pike (Esox lucius L. )

    SciTech Connect

    Larsson, P.; Okla, L.; Collvin, L. )

    1993-05-01

    Levels of persistent pollutants, including PCBs, [Sigma]DDT, and [gamma]-hexachlorocyclohexane, were examined in a pike population inhabiting a eutrophic lake in southern Scandinavia. For females, levels of persistent pollutants decreased linearly with age, weight, or length. This decline was ascribed to the seasonal elimination of the lipophilic pollutants in roe, which contained up to 10 times higher fat levels compared to muscle and over 10 times the amounts of pollutants. Male pike contained higher levels of pollutants than females, probably due to the lower elimination via gonadal products, as germinal tissue constitutes only 2% of the male total body weight and has a lower fat content than ovaries. Female germinal tissue can account for as much as 15% of the body weight. No major fat deposits other than those in germinal tissue were found in pike, which also had a low muscle fat content, suggesting that the importance of roe elimination in removing pollutants may be greater in pike than in salmonids. Uptake of persistent pollutants can vary greatly within a species, owing to differences in sex, age, and so forth, as well as between species, owing to differences in fat deposition strategies.

  17. The Genome and Linkage Map of the Northern Pike (Esox lucius): Conserved Synteny Revealed between the Salmonid Sister Group and the Neoteleostei

    PubMed Central

    Rondeau, Eric B.; Minkley, David R.; Leong, Jong S.; Messmer, Amber M.; Jantzen, Johanna R.; von Schalburg, Kristian R.; Lemon, Craig; Bird, Nathan H.; Koop, Ben F.

    2014-01-01

    The northern pike is the most frequently studied member of the Esociformes, the closest order to the diverse and economically important Salmoniformes. The ancestor of all salmonids purportedly experienced a whole-genome duplication (WGD) event, making salmonid species ideal for studying the early impacts of genome duplication while complicating their use in wider analyses of teleost evolution. Studies suggest that the Esociformes diverged from the salmonid lineage prior to the WGD, supporting the use of northern pike as a pre-duplication outgroup. Here we present the first genome assembly, reference transcriptome and linkage map for northern pike, and evaluate the suitability of this species to provide a representative pre-duplication genome for future studies of salmonid and teleost evolution. The northern pike genome sequence is composed of 94,267 contigs (N50 = 16,909 bp) contained in 5,688 scaffolds (N50 = 700,535 bp); the total scaffolded genome size is 878 million bases. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that over 96% of the protein-coding genome is present in the genome assembly. The reference transcriptome was constructed from 13 tissues and contains 38,696 transcripts, which are accompanied by normalized expression data in all tissues. Gene-prediction analysis produced a total of 19,601 northern pike-specific gene models. The first-generation linkage map identifies 25 linkage groups, in agreement with northern pike's diploid karyotype of 2N = 50, and facilitates the placement of 46% of assembled bases onto linkage groups. Analyses reveal a high degree of conserved synteny between northern pike and other model teleost genomes. While conservation of gene order is limited to smaller syntenic blocks, the wider conservation of genome organization implies the northern pike exhibits a suitable approximation of a non-duplicated Protacanthopterygiian genome. This dataset will facilitate future studies of esocid biology and empower ongoing examinations of the Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout genomes by facilitating their comparison with other major teleost groups. PMID:25069045

  18. The effects of season on fatty acid composition and ω3/ω6 ratios of northern pike ( Esox lucius L., 1758) muscle lipids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mert, Ramazan; Bulut, Sait; Konuk, Muhsin

    2015-01-01

    In the present study, the effects of season on fatty acid composition, total lipids, and ω3/ω6 ratios of northern pike muscle lipids in Kizilirmak River (Kirikkale, Turkey) were investigated. A total of 35 different fatty acids were determined in gas chromatography. Among these, palmitic, oleic, and palmitoleic acids had the highest proportion. The main polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were found to be docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and arachidonic acid. There were more PUFAs than monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) in all seasons. Similarly, the percentages of ω3 fatty acids were higher than those of total ω6 fatty acids in the fatty acid composition. ω3/ω6 ratios were calculated as 1.53, 1.32, 1.97, and 1.71 in spring, summer, autumn and winter, respectively. Overall, we found that the fatty acid composition and ω3/ω6 fatty acid ratio in the muscle of northern pike were significantly influenced by season.

  19. General Lucius D. Clay: A Case Study of Strategic Leadership and Vision

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-04-05

    developmental positions that prepared him to create and implement a strategic vision and to lead the effort to establ ish post-war Germany. A review of mi l...military history and biporaph’ is invaluable in this regard. ( emphasis added) [I] It is in that spirit that this study of General Lucius D. Clay has...those general officers in positions as high as corps commanders. ;t this level the leader has less direct control and influence over subordinates. Work

  20. Interactions of multiple predators with different foraging modes in an aquatic food web.

    PubMed

    Carey, Michael P; Wahl, David H

    2010-02-01

    Top predators can have different foraging modes that may alter their interactions and effects on food webs. Interactions between predators may be non-additive resulting from facilitation or interference, whereas their combined effects on a shared prey may result in emergent effects that are risk enhanced or risk reduced. To test the importance of multiple predators with different foraging modes, we examined the interaction between a cruising predator (largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides) and an ambush predator (muskellunge, Esox masquinongy) foraging on a shared prey (bluegill sunfish, Lepomis macrochirus) with strong anti-predator defense behaviors. Additive and substitution designs were used to compare individual to combined predator treatments in experimental ponds. The multiple predator interaction facilitated growth of the cruising predator in the combined predator treatments, whereas predator species had substitutable effects on the growth of the ambush predator. The combined predator treatments created an emergent effect on the prey; however, the direction was dependent on the experimental design. The additive design found a risk-reducing effect, whereas the substitution design found a risk-enhancing effect for prey fish. Indirect effects from the predators weakly extended to lower trophic levels (i.e., zooplankton community). Our results highlight the need to consider differences in foraging mode of top predators, interactions between predators, and emergent effects on prey to understand food webs.

  1. Foraging Experiences with Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Russell, Helen Ross

    1976-01-01

    Provided are foraging experiences and wild foods information for utilization in the urban school curriculum. Food uses are detailed for roses, dandelions, wild onions, acorns, cattails, violets and mints. (BT)

  2. Foraging search: Prototypical intelligence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mobus, George

    2000-05-01

    We think because we eat. Or as Descartes might have said, on a little more reflection, "I need to eat, therefore I think." Animals that forage for a living repeatedly face the problem of searching for a sparsely distributed resource in a vast space. Furthermore, the resource may occur sporadically and episodically under conditions of true uncertainty (nonstationary, complex and non-linear dynamics). I assert that this problem is the canonical problem solved by intelligence. It's solution is the basis for the evolution of more advanced intelligence in which the space of search includes that of concepts (objects and relations) encoded in cortical structures. In humans the conscious experience of searching through concept space we call thinking. The foraging search model is based upon a higher-order autopoeitic system (the forager) employing anticipatory processing to enhance its success at finding food while avoiding becoming food or having accidents in a hostile world. I present a semi-formal description of the general foraging search problem and an approach to its solution. The latter is a brain-like structure employing dynamically adaptive neurons. A physical robot, MAVRIC, embodies some principles of foraging. It learns cues that lead to improvements in finding targets in a dynamic and nonstationary environment. This capability is based on a unique learning mechanism that encodes causal relations in the neural-like processing element. An argument is advanced that searching for resources in the physical world, as per the foraging model, is a prototype for generalized search for conceptual resources as when we think. A problem represents a conceptual disturbance in a homeostatic sense. The finding of a solution restores the homeostatic balance. The establishment of links between conceptual cues and solutions (resources) and the later use of those cues to think through to solutions of quasi-isomorphic problems is, essentially, foraging for ideas. It is a quite

  3. [Ecological and Biochemical Aspects of Parasite-Host Interactions in Transformed Aquatic Bodies: A Case Study of the Cestode Triaenophorus nodulosus and Its Host, the Northern Pike Esox lucius].

    PubMed

    Vysotskaya, R U; Krupnova, M Yu; Ieshko, E P; Anikieva, L V; Lebedeva, D I

    2015-01-01

    The lysosomal enzyme activities of the cestode Triaenophorus nodulosus and its host, the pike, in-aquatic bodies with different degrees of technogenic transformation (Northern Karelia, Russia) have been studied. As has been shown, iron-ore waste causes an increase in the acid phosphatase, nuclease, and beta-galactosidase activities of the host and a decrease in its beta-glucosidase and cathepsin D activities. As a rule, the changes in the same cestode enzyme activities are the opposite. With a decrease in the technogenic load, most of the studied characteristics display the trend of approaching the corresponding values observed in a clean lake. It is assumed that the host plays a leading role in the biochemical adaptation of the parasite and its host to mineral environmental pollution.

  4. Bioaccumulation of Heavy Metals and Microelements in Silver Bream (Brama brama L.), Northern Pike (Esox lucius L.), Sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus L.), and Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) From Tisza River, Serbia.

    PubMed

    Štrbac, Snežana; Kašanin-Grubin, Milica; Jovančićević, Branimir; Simonović, Predrag

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the concentrations of Al, As, B, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, Sr, and Zn in liver, gills, gonads, and brain of four ecologically different fish species in Serbia: piscivorous northern pike, benthivorous sterlet and silver bream, and omnivorous common carp. Fish were caught at four sites along the stretch of the River Tisza in the Pannonian part of Serbia during October 2010. Results revealed that heavy metals and microelements with the highest values in fish samples were Fe, Al, and Zn. The highest concentration of heavy metals and microelements was recorded in omnivorous common carp, and organs that most intensively accumulated the greatest number of metals were liver and gills, whereas the locality did not exert a marked impact on level of bioaccumulation.

  5. The Physics of Foraging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viswanathan, Gandhimohan. M.; da Luz, Marcos G. E.; Raposo, Ernesto P.; Stanley, H. Eugene

    2011-06-01

    Part I. Introduction: Movement: 1. Empirical motivation for studying movement; 2. Statistical physics of biological motion; 3. Random walks and Lévy flights; 4. Wandering albatrosses; Part II. Experimental Findings: 5. Early studies; 6. Evidence of anomalous diffusion; 7. Human dispersal; 8. How strong is the evidence?; Part III. Theory of Foraging: 9. Optimizing encounter rates; 10. Lévy flight foraging; 11. Other search models; Part IV. Finale: A Broader Context: 12. Superdiffusive random searches; 13. Adaptational versus emergent superdiffusion; 14. Perspectives and open problems; Appendices; References; Index.

  6. Redesigning forages with condensed tannins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maximizing protein content in forages and minimizing protein loss during silage fermentation and rumen digestion are concerns for livestock and dairy producers. Substantial amounts of forage protein undergo proteolysis (breakdown) during the ensiling process and during rumen fermentation, transforme...

  7. New Developments in Forage Varieties

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forage crops harvested for hay or haylage or grazed support dairy, beef, sheep and horse production. Additional livestock production from reduced forage acreage supports the need for forage variety improvement. The Consortium for Alfalfa Improvement is a partnership model of government, private no...

  8. Optimal Foraging in Semantic Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hills, Thomas T.; Jones, Michael N.; Todd, Peter M.

    2012-01-01

    Do humans search in memory using dynamic local-to-global search strategies similar to those that animals use to forage between patches in space? If so, do their dynamic memory search policies correspond to optimal foraging strategies seen for spatial foraging? Results from a number of fields suggest these possibilities, including the shared…

  9. Muskie lunacy: does the lunar cycle influence angler catch of muskellunge (Esox masquinongy)?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vinson, Mark R.; Angradi, Ted R.

    2014-01-01

    We analyzed angling catch records for 341,959 muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) from North America to test for a cyclic lunar influence on the catch. Using periodic regression, we showed that the number caught was strongly related to the 29-day lunar cycle, and the effect was consistent across most fisheries. More muskellunge were caught around the full and new moon than at other times. At night, more muskellunge were caught around the full moon than the new moon. The predicted maximum relative effect was ≈5% overall. Anglers fishing exclusively on the peak lunar day would, on average, catch 5% more muskellunge than anglers fishing on random days. On some lakes and at night, the maximum relative effect was higher. We obtained angler effort data for Wisconsin, Mille Lacs (MN), and Lake Vermilion (MN). For Lake Vermilion there was a significant effect of the lunar cycle on angler effort. We could therefore not conclude that the lunar effect on catch was due to an effect on fish behavior alone. Several factors affected the amount of variation explained by the lunar cycle. The lunar effect was stronger for larger muskellunge (>102 cm) than for smaller fish, stronger in midsummer than in June or October, and stronger for fish caught at high latitudes (>48°N) than for fish caught further south. There was no difference in the lunar effect between expert and novice muskellunge anglers. We argue that this variation is evidence that the effect of the lunar cycle on catch is mediated by biological factors and is not due solely to angler effort and reflects lunar synchronization in feeding. This effect has been attributed to variation among moon phases in lunar illumination, but our results do not support that hypothesis for angler-caught muskellunge.

  10. Muskie Lunacy: Does the Lunar Cycle Influence Angler Catch of Muskellunge (Esox masquinongy)?

    PubMed Central

    Vinson, Mark R.; Angradi, Ted R.

    2014-01-01

    We analyzed angling catch records for 341,959 muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) from North America to test for a cyclic lunar influence on the catch. Using periodic regression, we showed that the number caught was strongly related to the 29-day lunar cycle, and the effect was consistent across most fisheries. More muskellunge were caught around the full and new moon than at other times. At night, more muskellunge were caught around the full moon than the new moon. The predicted maximum relative effect was ≈5% overall. Anglers fishing exclusively on the peak lunar day would, on average, catch 5% more muskellunge than anglers fishing on random days. On some lakes and at night, the maximum relative effect was higher. We obtained angler effort data for Wisconsin, Mille Lacs (MN), and Lake Vermilion (MN). For Lake Vermilion there was a significant effect of the lunar cycle on angler effort. We could therefore not conclude that the lunar effect on catch was due to an effect on fish behavior alone. Several factors affected the amount of variation explained by the lunar cycle. The lunar effect was stronger for larger muskellunge (>102 cm) than for smaller fish, stronger in midsummer than in June or October, and stronger for fish caught at high latitudes (>48°N) than for fish caught further south. There was no difference in the lunar effect between expert and novice muskellunge anglers. We argue that this variation is evidence that the effect of the lunar cycle on catch is mediated by biological factors and is not due solely to angler effort and reflects lunar synchronization in feeding. This effect has been attributed to variation among moon phases in lunar illumination, but our results do not support that hypothesis for angler-caught muskellunge. PMID:24871329

  11. Muskie Lunacy: does the lunar cycle influence angler catch of muskellunge (Esox masquinongy)?

    PubMed

    Vinson, Mark R; Angradi, Ted R

    2014-01-01

    We analyzed angling catch records for 341,959 muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) from North America to test for a cyclic lunar influence on the catch. Using periodic regression, we showed that the number caught was strongly related to the 29-day lunar cycle, and the effect was consistent across most fisheries. More muskellunge were caught around the full and new moon than at other times. At night, more muskellunge were caught around the full moon than the new moon. The predicted maximum relative effect was ≈5% overall. Anglers fishing exclusively on the peak lunar day would, on average, catch 5% more muskellunge than anglers fishing on random days. On some lakes and at night, the maximum relative effect was higher. We obtained angler effort data for Wisconsin, Mille Lacs (MN), and Lake Vermilion (MN). For Lake Vermilion there was a significant effect of the lunar cycle on angler effort. We could therefore not conclude that the lunar effect on catch was due to an effect on fish behavior alone. Several factors affected the amount of variation explained by the lunar cycle. The lunar effect was stronger for larger muskellunge (>102 cm) than for smaller fish, stronger in midsummer than in June or October, and stronger for fish caught at high latitudes (>48°N) than for fish caught further south. There was no difference in the lunar effect between expert and novice muskellunge anglers. We argue that this variation is evidence that the effect of the lunar cycle on catch is mediated by biological factors and is not due solely to angler effort and reflects lunar synchronization in feeding. This effect has been attributed to variation among moon phases in lunar illumination, but our results do not support that hypothesis for angler-caught muskellunge.

  12. Learning foraging thresholds for lizards

    SciTech Connect

    Goldberg, L.A.; Hart, W.E.; Wilson, D.B.

    1996-01-12

    This work gives a proof of convergence for a randomized learning algorithm that describes how anoles (lizards found in the Carribean) learn a foraging threshold distance. This model assumes that an anole will pursue a prey if and only if it is within this threshold of the anole`s perch. This learning algorithm was proposed by the biologist Roughgarden and his colleagues. They experimentally confirmed that this algorithm quickly converges to the foraging threshold that is predicted by optimal foraging theory our analysis provides an analytic confirmation that the learning algorithm converses to this optimal foraging threshold with high probability.

  13. Spatial memory in foraging games.

    PubMed

    Kerster, Bryan E; Rhodes, Theo; Kello, Christopher T

    2016-03-01

    Foraging and foraging-like processes are found in spatial navigation, memory, visual search, and many other search functions in human cognition and behavior. Foraging is commonly theorized using either random or correlated movements based on Lévy walks, or a series of decisions to remain or leave proximal areas known as "patches". Neither class of model makes use of spatial memory, but search performance may be enhanced when information about searched and unsearched locations is encoded. A video game was developed to test the role of human spatial memory in a canonical foraging task. Analyses of search trajectories from over 2000 human players yielded evidence that foraging movements were inherently clustered, and that clustering was facilitated by spatial memory cues and influenced by memory for spatial locations of targets found. A simple foraging model is presented in which spatial memory is used to integrate aspects of Lévy-based and patch-based foraging theories to perform a kind of area-restricted search, and thereby enhance performance as search unfolds. Using only two free parameters, the model accounts for a variety of findings that individually support competing theories, but together they argue for the integration of spatial memory into theories of foraging.

  14. Root Nutrient Foraging1

    PubMed Central

    Giehl, Ricardo F.H.; von Wirén, Nicolaus

    2014-01-01

    During a plant's lifecycle, the availability of nutrients in the soil is mostly heterogeneous in space and time. Plants are able to adapt to nutrient shortage or localized nutrient availability by altering their root system architecture to efficiently explore soil zones containing the limited nutrient. It has been shown that the deficiency of different nutrients induces root architectural and morphological changes that are, at least to some extent, nutrient specific. Here, we highlight what is known about the importance of individual root system components for nutrient acquisition and how developmental and physiological responses can be coupled to increase nutrient foraging by roots. In addition, we review prominent molecular mechanisms involved in altering the root system in response to local nutrient availability or to the plant's nutritional status. PMID:25082891

  15. Root nutrient foraging.

    PubMed

    Giehl, Ricardo F H; von Wirén, Nicolaus

    2014-10-01

    During a plant's lifecycle, the availability of nutrients in the soil is mostly heterogeneous in space and time. Plants are able to adapt to nutrient shortage or localized nutrient availability by altering their root system architecture to efficiently explore soil zones containing the limited nutrient. It has been shown that the deficiency of different nutrients induces root architectural and morphological changes that are, at least to some extent, nutrient specific. Here, we highlight what is known about the importance of individual root system components for nutrient acquisition and how developmental and physiological responses can be coupled to increase nutrient foraging by roots. In addition, we review prominent molecular mechanisms involved in altering the root system in response to local nutrient availability or to the plant's nutritional status.

  16. Root foraging influences plant growth responses to earthworm foraging.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Erin K; Cahill, James F; Bayne, Erin M

    2014-01-01

    Interactions among the foraging behaviours of co-occurring animal species can impact population and community dynamics; the consequences of interactions between plant and animal foraging behaviours have received less attention. In North American forests, invasions by European earthworms have led to substantial changes in plant community composition. Changes in leaf litter have been identified as a critical indirect mechanism driving earthworm impacts on plants. However, there has been limited examination of the direct effects of earthworm burrowing on plant growth. Here we show a novel second pathway exists, whereby earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris L.) impact plant root foraging. In a mini-rhizotron experiment, roots occurred more frequently in burrows and soil cracks than in the soil matrix. The roots of Achillea millefolium L. preferentially occupied earthworm burrows, where nutrient availability was presumably higher than in cracks due to earthworm excreta. In contrast, the roots of Campanula rotundifolia L. were less likely to occur in burrows. This shift in root behaviour was associated with a 30% decline in the overall biomass of C. rotundifolia when earthworms were present. Our results indicate earthworm impacts on plant foraging can occur indirectly via physical and chemical changes to the soil and directly via root consumption or abrasion and thus may be one factor influencing plant growth and community change following earthworm invasion. More generally, this work demonstrates the potential for interactions to occur between the foraging behaviours of plants and soil animals and emphasizes the importance of integrating behavioural understanding in foraging studies involving plants.

  17. Morphological and molecular evidence of three species of pikes Esox spp. (Actinopterygii, Esocidae) in France, including the description of a new species.

    PubMed

    Denys, Gaël Pierre Julien; Dettai, Agnès; Persat, Henri; Hautecœur, Mélyne; Keith, Philippe

    2014-09-01

    This integrative taxonomy study of French pikes compares morphological characters and molecular sequence data (mitochondrial COI and nuclear Plagl2 genes). In addition to the expected E. lucius, DNA sequences and morphology both support a new species in France, E. aquitanicus sp. nov. from the Charente to the Adour drainages. It is characterized by a color pattern of sides with narrow 1-1.5-scale-wide oblique vertical bands, conferring it a marbled coat, a snout only 0.9 times larger than the postorbital length, an anal fin basis 1.1-1.2 times larger than the caudal peduncle length, 101 to 121 lateral scales, 53 to 57 vertebrae, as well as 24 diagnostic sites in the COI gene and 3 in the Plagl2 gene. Partial COI sequences (131 bp) from modern and historical specimens indicate also the presence of E. cisalpinus and E. lucius during the 19th century in Lake Geneva. Morphological and molecular data points to a possible hybridization between E. lucius with both other local pike species, representing a risk for them. Their endangerment status should be evaluated rapidly in order to take conservation measures.

  18. Do crabeater seals forage cooperatively?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gales, Nicholas J.; Fraser, William R.; Costa, Daniel P.; Southwell, Colin

    2004-08-01

    Crabeater seals are abundant pack-ice predators that feed almost exclusively on krill. They have a circumpolar distribution and are generally sighted hauled out on ice floes alone or in pairs. Here we report our observations of a sighting of 150-200 crabeater seals, which were synchronised in their diving and surfacing behaviour, along with a summary of similar observations from western Antarctica of large groups of crabeater seals in synchronous dive cycles. We report on the low frequency of sightings of such groups during Antarctic pack-ice seal surveys in eastern (Greater) Antarctica. We examine plausible hypotheses to explain these observations, and suggest this behaviour is likely to represent some form of cooperative foraging behaviour, whereby a net advantage in individual energy intake rates is conferred to each seal. Current research on crabeater seal foraging using satellite-linked dive recorders is unlikely to provide sufficiently fine-scale data to examine this hypothesis. Nor will this approach indicate if a seal is foraging with conspecifics. The use of remote or animal-borne camera systems is more likely to provide an insight into fine-scale foraging tactics, as well as the possible, occasional use of cooperative foraging strategies.

  19. Integrated forage crop refinery system

    SciTech Connect

    Barrier, J.W.; Broder, J.D.; Madewell, C.E.; Mays, D.A.

    1985-04-01

    The proposed program involves the development of an integrated agricultural-chemical refining system for converting forage crops to useful foods, feeds, fuels, and chemicals. TVA has facilities and resources available to support extensive research and development activities. Modification can easily be made in the existing experimental facility being used to develop acid hydrolysis of corn stover, to include production of products other than fuel ethanol from forages. These products include protein, lignin-derived products, chemicals, single-cell protein, methane, aquaculture feed, and distillers solids. Refining forage crops in this manner has potential to increase the value of that crop and produce an economical integrated system. The results of the program will also be directly applicable to other areas and regions of the US. 11 refs., 7 figs., 9 tabs.

  20. Forage characteristics affecting meat goat preferences for forage chicory cultivars

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Concentration of bitter sesquiterpene lactones (SL), lactucin, lactucopicrin, and 8-deoxylactucin, has been associated with low soil phosphorus fertility and reduced livestock preference for forage chicory (Cichorium intybus L.). We evaluated the effect of cultivar and available soil P (ASP) on mea...

  1. How anthropogenic noise affects foraging.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jinhong; Siemers, Björn M; Koselj, Klemen

    2015-09-01

    The influence of human activity on the biosphere is increasing. While direct damage (e.g. habitat destruction) is relatively well understood, many activities affect wildlife in less apparent ways. Here, we investigate how anthropogenic noise impairs foraging, which has direct consequences for animal survival and reproductive success. Noise can disturb foraging via several mechanisms that may operate simultaneously, and thus, their effects could not be disentangled hitherto. We developed a diagnostic framework that can be applied to identify the potential mechanisms of disturbance in any species capable of detecting the noise. We tested this framework using Daubenton's bats, which find prey by echolocation. We found that traffic noise reduced foraging efficiency in most bats. Unexpectedly, this effect was present even if the playback noise did not overlap in frequency with the prey echoes. Neither overlapping noise nor nonoverlapping noise influenced the search effort required for a successful prey capture. Hence, noise did not mask prey echoes or reduce the attention of bats. Instead, noise acted as an aversive stimulus that caused avoidance response, thereby reducing foraging efficiency. We conclude that conservation policies may seriously underestimate numbers of species affected and the multilevel effects on animal fitness, if the mechanisms of disturbance are not considered.

  2. Breeding for increased forage quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forage crops have a large number of benefits to society, including ecosystem services such as soil and water conservation, wildlife habitat, and diversification of the agricultural landscape. However, their principal function can only be realized when they are processed through livestock to produce ...

  3. Squirrel Foraging Preferences: Gone Nuts?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Darling, Randi A.

    2007-01-01

    This field exercise examines the feeding preferences of Gray Squirrels ("Sciurus carolinensis"). Students present squirrels with a variety of food types in a cafeteria-style arrangement in order to test hypotheses about foraging preferences. This exercise, which is appropriate for introductory biology, ecology, and animal behavior classes, is…

  4. Handling manure on forage crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Manure application to alfalfa (and other perennial forages) is often necessary because of limited application windows during the year and limited land-to-livestock ratios to meet Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan requirements. Manure applied before alfalfa planting or during production can impr...

  5. Switchgrass for forage and bioenergy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Switchgrass is a native warm-season grass that has been used for hay, forage, and conservation purposes for decades and switchgrass research in Nebraska has been ongoing since 1936. Recently, switchgrass has been identified as a model perennial grass for bioenergy in the Great Plains and Midwest. Si...

  6. Foraging currencies, metabolism and behavioural routines.

    PubMed

    Houston, Alasdair I; McNamara, John M

    2014-01-01

    A fundamental issue in foraging theory is whether it is possible to find a simple currency that characterizes foraging behaviour. If such a currency exists, then it is tempting to argue that the selective forces that have shaped the evolution of foraging behaviour have been understood. We review previous work on currencies for the foraging behaviour of an animal that maximizes total energy gained. In many circumstances, it is optimal to maximize a suitably modified form of efficiency. We show how energy gain, predation and damage can be combined in a single currency based on reproductive value. We draw attention to the idea that hard work may have an adverse effect on an animal's condition. We develop a model of optimal foraging over a day when a forager's state consists of its energy reserves and its condition. Optimal foraging behaviour in our model depends on energy reserves, condition and time of day. The pattern of optimal behaviour depends strongly on assumptions about the probability that the forager is killed by a predator. If condition is important, no simple currency characterizes foraging behaviour, but behaviour can be understood in terms of the maximization of reproductive value. It may be optimal to adopt a foraging option that results in a rate of energy expenditure that is less than the rate associated with maximizing efficiency.

  7. Behavior of fish predators and their prey: habitat choice between open water and dense vegetation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Savino, Jacqueline F.; Stein, Roy A.

    1989-01-01

    Behavior of largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, and northern pike, Esox lucius, foraging on fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas, or bluegills, Lepomis macrochirus, was quantified in pools with 50% cover (half the pool had artificial stems at a density of 1000 stems m−2). Both predators spent most of their time in the vegetation. Largemouth bass searched for bluegills and ambushed minnows, whereas the relatively immobile northern pike ambushed all prey. Minnows were closer to predators and were captured more frequently than bluegills. Even when minnows dispersed, they moved continually and eventually wandered within striking distance of a predator. Bluegills dispersed in the cover with predators. Bass captured the few bluegills that strayed into the open and pike captured those that approached too closely in the cover. The ability of predators to capture prey while residing in habitats containing patches of dense cover may explain their residence in areas often considered to be poor ones for foraging.

  8. Foraging pattern, colony distribution, and foraging range of the Florida harvester ant Pogonomyrmex badius

    SciTech Connect

    Harrison, J.S.; Gentry, J.B.

    1981-12-01

    This report describes the foraging pattern of the Florida harvester ant Pogonomyrmex badius in a high-density population of colonies. The foraging pattern has both promoted and been influenced by the colony distribution. Pogonomyrmex badius forages from short trails which extend into a surrounding foraging range. Direction of foraging trails is influenced by the location of a colony's near neighbors. Seasonal nest relocations always occur along a foraging trail, usually the main trail. Foraging ranges are not actively defended, but are used almost exclusively by foragers from a single colony. Foraging ranges will be extended into an area abondoned by neighboring foragers, indicating that forager presence may define each colony's range. Colony distribution has remained essentially the same for several years, despite seasonal nest relocations and addition of new colonies. Establishment of trails and exclusive foraging ranges by each colony minimizes encounters with neighboring foragers and guarantees access to available resources; this pattern also pomotes maintenance of the existing colony distribution and partitioning of resources.

  9. Foraging pattern, colony distribution, and foraging range of the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius

    SciTech Connect

    Harrison, J.S.; Gentry, J.B.; Aiken, S.C.

    1981-12-01

    This report describes the foraging pattern of the Florida harvester ant Pogonomyrmex badius in a high-density population of colonies. The foraging pattern has both promoted and been influenced by the colony distribution. Pogonomyrmex badius forages from short trails which extend into a surrounding foraging range. Direction of foraging trails is influenced by the location of a colony's near neighbors. Seasonal nest relocations always occur along a foraging trail, usually the main trail. Foraging ranges are not actively defended, but are used almost exclusively by foragers from a single colony. Foraging ranges will be extended into an area abandoned by neighboring foragers, indicating that forager presence may define each colony's range. Colony distribution has remained essentially the same for several years, despite seasonal nest relocations and addition of new colonies. Establishment of trails and exclusive foraging ranges by each colony minimizes encounters with neighboring foragers and guarantees access to available resources; this pattern also promotes maintenance of the existing colony distribution and partitioning of resources.

  10. Evidence of trapline foraging in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Buatois, Alexis; Lihoreau, Mathieu

    2016-08-15

    Central-place foragers exploiting floral resources often use multi-destination routes (traplines) to maximise their foraging efficiency. Recent studies on bumblebees have showed how solitary foragers can learn traplines, minimising travel costs between multiple replenishing feeding locations. Here we demonstrate a similar routing strategy in the honeybee (Apis mellifera), a major pollinator known to recruit nestmates to discovered food resources. Individual honeybees trained to collect sucrose solution from four artificial flowers arranged within 10 m of the hive location developed repeatable visitation sequences both in the laboratory and in the field. A 10-fold increase of between-flower distances considerably intensified this routing behaviour, with bees establishing more stable and more efficient routes at larger spatial scales. In these advanced social insects, trapline foraging may complement cooperative foraging for exploiting food resources near the hive (where dance recruitment is not used) or when resources are not large enough to sustain multiple foragers at once.

  11. From the Lab Bench: Is forage quality that complicated?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An article was written to discuss the definition of forage quality. The true definition of forage quality is based on performance of the cattle when the forage serves as the major source of nutrients. However, an estimate of forage quality will be needed before the forage is fed or grazed. Digest...

  12. Boa constrictor (Boa constrictor): foraging behavior

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sorrell, G.G.; Boback, M.S.; Reed, R.N.; Green, S.; Montgomery, Chad E.; DeSouza, L.S.; Chiaraviglio, M.

    2011-01-01

    Boa constrictor is often referred to as a sit-and-wait or ambush forager that chooses locations to maximize the likelihood of prey encounters (Greene 1983. In Janzen [ed.], Costa Rica Natural History, pp. 380-382. Univ. Chicago Press, Illinois). However, as more is learned about the natural history of snakes in general, the dichotomy between active versus ambush foraging is becoming blurred. Herein, we describe an instance of diurnal active foraging by a B. constrictor, illustrating that this species exhibits a range of foraging behaviors.

  13. Visual Foraging With Fingers and Eye Gaze

    PubMed Central

    Thornton, Ian M.; Smith, Irene J.; Chetverikov, Andrey; Kristjánsson, Árni

    2016-01-01

    A popular model of the function of selective visual attention involves search where a single target is to be found among distractors. For many scenarios, a more realistic model involves search for multiple targets of various types, since natural tasks typically do not involve a single target. Here we present results from a novel multiple-target foraging paradigm. We compare finger foraging where observers cancel a set of predesignated targets by tapping them, to gaze foraging where observers cancel items by fixating them for 100 ms. During finger foraging, for most observers, there was a large difference between foraging based on a single feature, where observers switch easily between target types, and foraging based on a conjunction of features where observers tended to stick to one target type. The pattern was notably different during gaze foraging where these condition differences were smaller. Two conclusions follow: (a) The fact that a sizeable number of observers (in particular during gaze foraging) had little trouble switching between different target types raises challenges for many prominent theoretical accounts of visual attention and working memory. (b) While caveats must be noted for the comparison of gaze and finger foraging, the results suggest that selection mechanisms for gaze and pointing have different operational constraints. PMID:27433323

  14. Visual Foraging With Fingers and Eye Gaze.

    PubMed

    Jóhannesson, Ómar I; Thornton, Ian M; Smith, Irene J; Chetverikov, Andrey; Kristjánsson, Árni

    2016-03-01

    A popular model of the function of selective visual attention involves search where a single target is to be found among distractors. For many scenarios, a more realistic model involves search for multiple targets of various types, since natural tasks typically do not involve a single target. Here we present results from a novel multiple-target foraging paradigm. We compare finger foraging where observers cancel a set of predesignated targets by tapping them, to gaze foraging where observers cancel items by fixating them for 100 ms. During finger foraging, for most observers, there was a large difference between foraging based on a single feature, where observers switch easily between target types, and foraging based on a conjunction of features where observers tended to stick to one target type. The pattern was notably different during gaze foraging where these condition differences were smaller. Two conclusions follow: (a) The fact that a sizeable number of observers (in particular during gaze foraging) had little trouble switching between different target types raises challenges for many prominent theoretical accounts of visual attention and working memory. (b) While caveats must be noted for the comparison of gaze and finger foraging, the results suggest that selection mechanisms for gaze and pointing have different operational constraints.

  15. Individual honey bee (Apis cerana) foragers adjust their fuel load to match variability in forage reward

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Ken; Latty, Tanya; Dong, Shihao; Liu, Xiwen; Wang, Chao; Oldroyd, Benjamin P.

    2015-01-01

    Animals may adjust their behavior according to their perception of risk. Here we show that free-flying honey bee (Apis cerana) foragers mitigate the risk of starvation in the field when foraging on a food source that offers variable rewards by carrying more ‘fuel’ food on their outward journey. We trained foragers to a feeder located 1.2 km from each of four colonies. On average foragers carried 12.7% greater volume of fuel, equivalent to 30.2% more glucose when foraging on a variable source (a random sequence of 0.5, 1.5 and 2.5 M sucrose solution, average sucrose content 1.5 M) than when forging on a consistent source (constant 1.5 M sucrose solution). Our findings complement an earlier study that showed that foragers decrease their fuel load as they become more familiar with a foraging place. We suggest that honey bee foragers are risk sensitive, and carry more fuel to minimize the risk of starvation in the field when a foraging trip is perceived as being risky, either because the forager is unfamiliar with the foraging site, or because the forage available at a familiar site offers variable rewards. PMID:26549746

  16. 7 CFR 1437.401 - Forage.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... range management practices for the location necessary to sustain sufficient quality and quantity of the... for the geographical region after consideration of at least two independent assessments of grazed forage acreage conditions. The assessments shall be completed by forage or range specialists in...

  17. 7 CFR 1437.401 - Forage.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... range management practices for the location necessary to sustain sufficient quality and quantity of the... for the geographical region after consideration of at least two independent assessments of grazed forage acreage conditions. The assessments shall be completed by forage or range specialists in...

  18. 7 CFR 1437.401 - Forage.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... range management practices for the location necessary to sustain sufficient quality and quantity of the... for the geographical region after consideration of at least two independent assessments of grazed forage acreage conditions. The assessments shall be completed by forage or range specialists in...

  19. 7 CFR 1437.401 - Forage.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... range management practices for the location necessary to sustain sufficient quality and quantity of the... for the geographical region after consideration of at least two independent assessments of grazed forage acreage conditions. The assessments shall be completed by forage or range specialists in...

  20. Grass vs. legume forages for dairy cattle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa is the primary forage fed to lactating dairy cows; however, there is renewed interest in utilizing grass forages in lactating dairy cow diets particularly because of farm nutrient management issues. Yield and perceived quality is generally lower for grass species compared to legumes while ot...

  1. Polyphenol oxidase activity in annual forage clovers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Polyphenol oxidase (PPO)-mediated phenol reactions in red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) bind forage protein and reduce proteolysis, producing beneficial effects on forage protein degradability, silage fermentation, and soil-N cycling. We evaluated PPO activity in seven previously untested annual c...

  2. Increased carrying capacity with perennial forage kochia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Carrying capacity can be increased on grass-dominated rangeland pastures by including perennial forage kochia (Kochia prostrata) as one of the plant components. The objectives of the study reported here were to compare the differences of traditional winter pastures versus pastures with forage kochi...

  3. Sorghum as a forage in Wisconsin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Growing moderate quality forages that meet, but do not exceed, requirements of dairy replacement heifers is not a common practice in Wisconsin; however, this forage management option would have a positive impact on the dairy industry. It is typical for heifers to gain excessive bodyweight when they ...

  4. Palatability of Forage Chicory Cultivars for Goats

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sesquiterpene lactones (SL) in forage chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) may have anthelmintic activity against gastrointestinal parasites in sheep and goats, but have been implicated in poor palatability of forage. We used three levels of soil P fertilization to influence SL concentrations in three cu...

  5. Optimal forager against ideal free distributed prey.

    PubMed

    Garay, József; Cressman, Ross; Xu, Fei; Varga, Zoltan; Cabello, Tomás

    2015-07-01

    The introduced dispersal-foraging game is a combination of prey habitat selection between two patch types and optimal-foraging approaches. Prey's patch preference and forager behavior determine the prey's survival rate. The forager's energy gain depends on local prey density in both types of exhaustible patches and on leaving time. We introduce two game-solution concepts. The static solution combines the ideal free distribution of the prey with optimal-foraging theory. The dynamical solution is given by a game dynamics describing the behavioral changes of prey and forager. We show (1) that each stable equilibrium dynamical solution is always a static solution, but not conversely; (2) that at an equilibrium dynamical solution, the forager can stabilize prey mixed patch use strategy in cases where ideal free distribution theory predicts that prey will use only one patch type; and (3) that when the equilibrium dynamical solution is unstable at fixed prey density, stable behavior cycles occur where neither forager nor prey keep a fixed behavior.

  6. Universality classes of foraging with resource renewal.

    PubMed

    Chupeau, M; Bénichou, O; Redner, S

    2016-03-01

    We determine the impact of resource renewal on the lifetime of a forager that depletes its environment and starves if it wanders too long without eating. In the framework of a minimal starving random-walk model with resource renewal, there are three universal classes of behavior as a function of the renewal time. For sufficiently rapid renewal, foragers are immortal, while foragers have a finite lifetime otherwise. In the specific case of one dimension, there is a third regime, for sufficiently slow renewal, in which the lifetime of the forager is independent of the renewal time. We outline an enumeration method to determine the mean lifetime of the forager in the mortal regime.

  7. Foraging in groups affects giving-up densities: solo foragers quit sooner.

    PubMed

    Carthey, Alexandra J R; Banks, Peter B

    2015-07-01

    The giving-up density framework is an elegant and widely adopted mathematical approach to measuring animals' foraging decisions at non-replenishing artificial resource patches. Under this framework, an animal should "give up" when the benefits of foraging are outweighed by the costs (e.g., predation risk, energetic, and/or missed opportunity costs). However, animals of many species may forage in groups, and group size is expected to alter perceived predation risk and hence influence quitting decisions. Yet, most giving-up density studies assume either that individuals forage alone or that giving-up densities are not affected by group foraging. For animals that forage both alone and in groups, differences in giving-up densities due to group foraging rather than experimental variables may substantially alter interpretation. However, no research to date has directly investigated how group foraging affects the giving-up density. We used remote-sensing cameras to identify instances of group foraging in two species of Rattus across three giving-up density experiments to determine whether group foraging influences giving-up densities. Both Rattus species have been observed to vary between foraging alone and in groups. In all three experiments, solo foragers left higher giving-up densities on average than did group foragers. This result has important implications for studies using giving-up densities to investigate perceived risk, the energetic costs of searching, handling time, digestion, and missed opportunity costs, particularly if groups of animals are more likely to experience certain experimental treatments. It is critically important that future giving-up density studies consider the effects of group foraging.

  8. Sexual segregation in foraging giraffe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mramba, Rosemary Peter; Mahenya, Obeid; Siyaya, Annetjie; Mathisen, Karen Marie; Andreassen, Harry Peter; Skarpe, Christina

    2017-02-01

    Sexual segregation in giraffe is known to vary between savannas. In this study, we compared sexual segregation in giraffe in one nutrient-rich savanna, the Serengeti National Park, one nutrient-poor, Mikumi National Park, and one medium rich savanna, Arusha National Park, (from here on referred to just by name) based on effects of sexual size dimorphism and related hypotheses. Data were collected in the wet and dry seasons, by driving road transects and making visual observations of browsing giraffe. Additional data were collected from literature (plant chemistry; mammal communities). There was a noticeable difference in browsing by females and males and in browsing between the three savannas. Females browsed a higher diversity of tree species in Serengeti whereas males browsed a higher diversity in Arusha, while the diversity of species browsed in Mikumi was high and about the same in both sexes. Females selected for high concentrations of nitrogen and low concentrations of tannins and phenolics compared to males in Serengeti but selection in Mikumi was more complex. Males browsed higher in the canopy than females in all sites, but the browsing height was generally higher in Serengeti than Mikumi and Arusha. Season had an effect on the browsing height independent of sex in Mikumi, where giraffes browsed higher in the dry season compared to the wet season. Males spent more time browsing per tree compared to females in all three sites; however, browsing time in Mikumi was also affected by season, where giraffes had longer browsing bouts in the wet season compared to the dry season. We suggest that sexual differences in forage requirement and in foraging interacts with differences in tree chemistry and in competing herbivore communities between nutrient rich and nutrient poor savanna in shaping the sexual segregation.

  9. Perennial Forages as Second Generation Bioenergy Crops

    PubMed Central

    Sanderson, Matt A.; Adler, Paul R.

    2008-01-01

    The lignocellulose in forage crops represents a second generation of biomass feedstock for conversion into energy-related end products. Some of the most extensively studied species for cellulosic feedstock production include forages such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.), and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). An advantage of using forages as bioenergy crops is that farmers are familiar with their management and already have the capacity to grow, harvest, store, and transport them. Forage crops offer additional flexibility in management because they can be used for biomass or forage and the land can be returned to other uses or put into crop rotation. Estimates indicate about 22.3 million ha of cropland, idle cropland, and cropland pasture will be needed for biomass production in 2030. Converting these lands to large scale cellulosic energy farming could push the traditional forage-livestock industry to ever more marginal lands. Furthermore, encouraging bioenergy production from marginal lands could directly compete with forage-livestock production. PMID:19325783

  10. Sympatric cattle grazing and desert bighorn sheep foraging

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Garrison, Kyle R.; Cain, James W.; Rominger, Eric M.; Goldstein, Elise J.

    2015-01-01

    Foraging behavior affects animal fitness and is largely dictated by the resources available to an animal. Understanding factors that affect forage resources is important for conservation and management of wildlife. Cattle sympatry is proposed to limit desert bighorn population performance, but few studies have quantified the effect of cattle foraging on bighorn forage resources or foraging behavior by desert bighorn. We estimated forage biomass for desert bighorn sheep in 2 mountain ranges: the cattle-grazed Caballo Mountains and the ungrazed San Andres Mountains, New Mexico. We recorded foraging bout efficiency of adult females by recording feeding time/step while foraging, and activity budgets of 3 age-sex classes (i.e., adult males, adult females, yearlings). We also estimated forage biomass at sites where bighorn were observed foraging. We expected lower forage biomass in the cattle-grazed Caballo range than in the ungrazed San Andres range and lower biomass at cattle-accessible versus inaccessible areas within the Caballo range. We predicted bighorn would be less efficient foragers in the Caballo range. Groundcover forage biomass was low in both ranges throughout the study (Jun 2012–Nov 2013). Browse biomass, however, was 4.7 times lower in the Caballo range versus the San Andres range. Bighorn in the Caballo range exhibited greater overall daily travel time, presumably to locate areas of higher forage abundance. By selecting areas with greater forage abundance, adult females in the Caballo range exhibited foraging bout efficiency similar to their San Andres counterparts but lower overall daily browsing time. We did not find a significant reduction in forage biomass at cattle-accessible areas in the Caballo range. Only the most rugged areas in the Caballo range had abundant forage, potentially a result of intensive historical livestock use in less rugged areas. Forage conditions in the Caballo range apparently force bighorn to increase foraging effort by

  11. QTL mapping of forage yield and forage yield component traits in Sorghum bicolor x S. sudanense.

    PubMed

    Liu, Y L; Wang, L H; Li, J Q; Zhan, Q W; Zhang, Q; Li, J F; Fan, F F

    2015-04-22

    The sorghum-sudangrass hybrid (Sorghum bicolor x S. sudanense) is an important forage crop. However, little is known about the genetic mechanisms related to forage yield and the 4 forage yield component traits in this forage crop. In this study, a linkage map was constructed with 124 assigned SSR markers using an F2 mapping population derived from the crossing of sorghum Tx623A and sudangrass Sa. Nine quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were detected for forage yield and the 4 forage yield component traits using inclusive composite interval mapping. Five fresh weight QTLs were identified and contributed >50% of the total phenotypic variance. Of these QTLs, all showed additive and dominant effects, but most exhibited mainly dominant effects. These results will provide useful information for improvements in sorghum-sudangrass hybrid breeding.

  12. Optimal Foraging by Birds: Experiments for Secondary & Postsecondary Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pecor, Keith W.; Lake, Ellen C.; Wund, Matthew A.

    2015-01-01

    Optimal foraging theory attempts to explain the foraging patterns observed in animals, including their choice of particular food items and foraging locations. We describe three experiments designed to test hypotheses about food choice and foraging habitat preference using bird feeders. These experiments can be used alone or in combination and can…

  13. Zebrafish learn to forage in the dark.

    PubMed

    Carrillo, Andres; McHenry, Matthew J

    2016-02-01

    A large diversity of fishes struggle early in life to forage on zooplankton while under the threat of predation. Some species, such as zebrafish (Danio rerio), acquire an ability to forage in the dark during growth as larvae, but it is unclear how this is achieved. We investigated the functional basis of this foraging by video-recording larval and juvenile zebrafish as they preyed on zooplankton (Artemia sp.) under infrared illumination. We found that foraging improved with age, to the extent that 1-month-old juveniles exhibited a capture rate that was an order of magnitude greater than that of hatchlings. At all ages, the ability to forage in the dark was diminished when we used a chemical treatment to compromise the cranial superficial neuromasts, which facilitate flow sensing. However, a morphological analysis showed no developmental changes in these receptors that could enhance sensitivity. We tested whether the improvement in foraging with age could instead be a consequence of learning by raising fish that were naïve to the flow of prey. After 1 month of growth, both groups foraged with a capture rate that was significantly less than that of fish that had the opportunity to learn and indistinguishable from that of fish with no ability to sense flow. This suggests that larval fish learn to use water flow to forage in the dark. This ability could enhance resource acquisition under reduced competition and predation. Furthermore, our findings offer an example of learning in a model system that offers promise for understanding its neurophysiological basis.

  14. Aggressive and foraging behavioral interactions among ruffe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Savino, Jacqueline F.; Kostich, Melissa J.

    2000-01-01

    The ruffe, Gymnocephalus cernuus, is a nonindigenous percid in the Great Lakes. Ruffe are aggressive benthivores and forage over soft substrates. Laboratory studies in pools (100 cm in diameter, 15 cm water depth) were conducted to determine whether fish density (low = 2, medium = 4, high = 6 ruffe per pool) changed foraging and aggressive behaviors with a limited food supply of chironomid larvae. All fish densities demonstrated a hierarchy based on aggressive interactions, but ruffe were most aggressive at low and high fish densities. Time spent in foraging was lowest at the low fish density. The best forager at the low fish density was the most aggressive individual, but the second most aggressive fish at the medium and high fish density was the best forager and also the one chased most frequently. A medium fish density offered the best energetic benefits to ruffe by providing the lowest ratio of time spent in aggression to that spent foraging. Based on our results, ruffe should grow best at an intermediate density. With high ruffe densities, we would also expect disparity in size as the more aggressive fish are able to garner a disproportionate amount of the resources. Alternatively, as the Great Lakes are a fairly open system, ruffe could migrate out of one area to colonize another as populations exceed optimal densities.

  15. Fishing amplifies forage fish population collapses.

    PubMed

    Essington, Timothy E; Moriarty, Pamela E; Froehlich, Halley E; Hodgson, Emma E; Koehn, Laura E; Oken, Kiva L; Siple, Margaret C; Stawitz, Christine C

    2015-05-26

    Forage fish support the largest fisheries in the world but also play key roles in marine food webs by transferring energy from plankton to upper trophic-level predators, such as large fish, seabirds, and marine mammals. Fishing can, thereby, have far reaching consequences on marine food webs unless safeguards are in place to avoid depleting forage fish to dangerously low levels, where dependent predators are most vulnerable. However, disentangling the contributions of fishing vs. natural processes on population dynamics has been difficult because of the sensitivity of these stocks to environmental conditions. Here, we overcome this difficulty by collating population time series for forage fish populations that account for nearly two-thirds of global catch of forage fish to identify the fingerprint of fisheries on their population dynamics. Forage fish population collapses shared a set of common and unique characteristics: high fishing pressure for several years before collapse, a sharp drop in natural population productivity, and a lagged response to reduce fishing pressure. Lagged response to natural productivity declines can sharply amplify the magnitude of naturally occurring population fluctuations. Finally, we show that the magnitude and frequency of collapses are greater than expected from natural productivity characteristics and therefore, likely attributed to fishing. The durations of collapses, however, were not different from those expected based on natural productivity shifts. A risk-based management scheme that reduces fishing when populations become scarce would protect forage fish and their predators from collapse with little effect on long-term average catches.

  16. Interactions Increase Forager Availability and Activity in Harvester Ants.

    PubMed

    Pless, Evlyn; Queirolo, Jovel; Pinter-Wollman, Noa; Crow, Sam; Allen, Kelsey; Mathur, Maya B; Gordon, Deborah M

    2015-01-01

    Social insect colonies use interactions among workers to regulate collective behavior. Harvester ant foragers interact in a chamber just inside the nest entrance, here called the 'entrance chamber'. Previous studies of the activation of foragers in red harvester ants show that an outgoing forager inside the nest experiences an increase in brief antennal contacts before it leaves the nest to forage. Here we compare the interaction rate experienced by foragers that left the nest and ants that did not. We found that ants in the entrance chamber that leave the nest to forage experienced more interactions than ants that descend to the deeper nest without foraging. Additionally, we found that the availability of foragers in the entrance chamber is associated with the rate of forager return. An increase in the rate of forager return leads to an increase in the rate at which ants descend to the deeper nest, which then stimulates more ants to ascend into the entrance chamber. Thus a higher rate of forager return leads to more available foragers in the entrance chamber. The highest density of interactions occurs near the nest entrance and the entrances of the tunnels from the entrance chamber to the deeper nest. Local interactions with returning foragers regulate both the activation of waiting foragers and the number of foragers available to be activated.

  17. Information Foraging for Perceptual Decisions

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    We tested an information foraging framework to characterize the mechanisms that drive active (visual) sampling behavior in decision problems that involve multiple sources of information. Experiments 1 through 3 involved participants making an absolute judgment about the direction of motion of a single random dot motion pattern. In Experiment 4, participants made a relative comparison between 2 motion patterns that could only be sampled sequentially. Our results show that: (a) Information (about noisy motion information) grows to an asymptotic level that depends on the quality of the information source; (b) The limited growth is attributable to unequal weighting of the incoming sensory evidence, with early samples being weighted more heavily; (c) Little information is lost once a new source of information is being sampled; and (d) The point at which the observer switches from 1 source to another is governed by online monitoring of his or her degree of (un)certainty about the sampled source. These findings demonstrate that the sampling strategy in perceptual decision-making is under some direct control by ongoing cognitive processing. More specifically, participants are able to track a measure of (un)certainty and use this information to guide their sampling behavior. PMID:27819455

  18. Behavioural interaction between fish predators and their prey: effects of plant density

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Savino, Jacqueline F.; Stein, Roy A.

    1989-01-01

    Prey-specific anti-predatory behaviour under different degrees of structural complexity determines foraging success of predators. The behaviour of piscivorous fish (largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides and northern pike, Esox lucius) and their prey (bluegills, Lepomis macrochirus, and fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas) were quantified in 60-min experiments in laboratory pools (2 multiplied by 4 m in diameter, 0 multiplied by 5 m deep) with artificial vegetation at densities of 0, 50, 250, and 1000 stems/m2. Largemouth bass switched predatory tactics from searching to ambushing as plant density increased whereas northern pike always used ambushing. At high plant density, both predators captured minnows, but not bluegills. Bluegills modified their behaviour more than minnows in response to predators, thereby avoiding predation at high plant densities. Structural complexity alone did not always provide refuge for prey; prey must use the structure to avoid predators. Predators may seek vegetated areas if appropriate, vulnerable prey are present.

  19. Forage and bioenergy feedstock production from hybrid forage sorghum and sorghum x sudangrass hybrids

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As the bioenergy industry expands, producers choosing to shift current forage crop production to dedicated biomass crops will find it advantageous to grow low risk multi-purpose crops that maximize management options. Hybrid forage sorghums (HFS) and sorghum by sudangrass hybrids (SSG) are capable...

  20. Effects of artificial illumination on the nocturnal foraging of waders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, Carlos D.; Miranda, Ana C.; Granadeiro, José P.; Lourenço, Pedro M.; Saraiva, Sara; Palmeirim, Jorge M.

    2010-03-01

    Large areas of natural and semi-natural habitats are exposed to artificial illumination from adjacent urban areas and roads. Estuarine and coastal wetlands are particularly exposed to such illumination because shorelines often are heavily utilized by man. However, the impact of artificial illumination on the waders that forage in these highly productive habitats is virtually unknown. We evaluated the effects of artificial illumination on the nocturnal habitat selection and foraging behaviour of six wader species with different feeding strategies: three visual foragers, two species that alternate visual and tactile strategies (mixed foragers), and one tactile forager. We quantified the number of birds and their foraging behaviour at sites affected and not affected by streetlights, and also before and after illuminating experimental sites. Areas illuminated by streetlights were used more during the night by visual foragers, and to a lesser extent by mixed foragers, than non-illuminated areas. Visual foragers increased their foraging effort in illuminated areas, and mixed foragers changed to more efficient visual foraging strategies. These behavioural shifts improved prey intake rate by an average of 83% in visual and mixed foragers. We have showed that artificial illumination has a positive effect on the nocturnal foraging of waders, but on the other hand may draw them to degraded areas close to urban centres, and potentially raises their exposure to predators. Our findings suggest that artificial illumination is worth investigation as a tool in the management of intertidal habitats for waders.

  1. Flooding tolerance of forage legumes.

    PubMed

    Striker, Gustavo G; Colmer, Timothy D

    2016-06-20

    We review waterlogging and submergence tolerances of forage (pasture) legumes. Growth reductions from waterlogging in perennial species ranged from >50% for Medicago sativa and Trifolium pratense to <25% for Lotus corniculatus, L. tenuis, and T. fragiferum For annual species, waterlogging reduced Medicago truncatula by ~50%, whereas Melilotus siculus and T. michelianum were not reduced. Tolerant species have higher root porosity (gas-filled volume in tissues) owing to aerenchyma formation. Plant dry mass (waterlogged relative to control) had a positive (hyperbolic) relationship to root porosity across eight species. Metabolism in hypoxic roots was influenced by internal aeration. Sugars accumulate in M. sativa due to growth inhibition from limited respiration and low energy in roots of low porosity (i.e. 4.5%). In contrast, L. corniculatus, with higher root porosity (i.e. 17.2%) and O2 supply allowing respiration, maintained growth better and sugars did not accumulate. Tolerant legumes form nodules, and internal O2 diffusion along roots can sustain metabolism, including N2 fixation, in submerged nodules. Shoot physiology depends on species tolerance. In M. sativa, photosynthesis soon declines and in the longer term (>10 d) leaves suffer chlorophyll degradation, damage, and N, P, and K deficiencies. In tolerant L corniculatus and L. tenuis, photosynthesis is maintained longer, shoot N is less affected, and shoot P can even increase during waterlogging. Species also differ in tolerance of partial and complete shoot submergence. Gaps in knowledge include anoxia tolerance of roots, N2 fixation during field waterlogging, and identification of traits conferring the ability to recover after water subsides.

  2. Social foragers adopt a riskier foraging mode in the centre of their groups

    PubMed Central

    Beauchamp, Guy

    2013-01-01

    Foraging in groups provides many benefits that are not necessarily experienced the same way by all individuals. I explore the possibility that foraging mode, the way individuals exploit resources, varies as a function of spatial position in the group, reflecting commonly occurring spatial differences in predation risk. I show that semipalmated sandpipers (Calidris pusilla), a social foraging avian species, tended to adopt a riskier foraging mode in the central, more protected areas of their groups. Central birds effectively used the more peripheral group members as sentinels, allowing them to exploit a wider range of resources within the same group at the same time. This finding provides a novel benefit of living in groups, which may have a broad relevance given that social foraging species often exploit a large array of resources. PMID:24108674

  3. Macronutrient modifications of optimal foraging theory: an approach using indifference curves applied to some modern foragers

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, K.

    1988-06-01

    The use of energy (calories) as the currency to be maximized per unit time in Optimal Foraging Models is considered in light of data on several foraging groups. Observations on the Ache, Cuiva, and Yora foragers suggest men do not attempt to maximize energetic return rates, but instead often concentration on acquiring meat resources which provide lower energetic returns. The possibility that this preference is due to the macronutrient composition of hunted and gathered foods is explored. Indifference curves are introduced as a means of modeling the tradeoff between two desirable commodities, meat (protein-lipid) and carbohydrate, and a specific indifference curve is derived using observed choices in five foraging situations. This curve is used to predict the amount of meat that Mbuti foragers will trade for carbohydrate, in an attempt to test the utility of the approach.

  4. Evolution of foraging behavior in Drosophilid larvae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivera-Alba, Marta; Kabra, Mayank; Branson, Kristin; Mirth, Christen

    2015-03-01

    Drosophilids, like other insects, go through a larval phase before metamorphosing into adults. Larvae increase their body weight by several orders of magnitude in a few days. We therefore hypothesized that foraging behavior is under strong evolutionary pressure to best fit the larval environment. To test our hypothesis we used a multidisciplinary approach to analyze foraging behavior across species and larval stages. First, we recorded several videos of larvae foraging for each of 47 Drosophilid species. Then, using a supervised machine learning approach, we automatically annotated the video collection for the foraging sub-behaviors, including crawling, turning, head casting or burrowing. We also computed over 100 features to describe the posture and dynamics of each animal in each video frame. From these data, we fit models to the behavior of each species. The models each had the same parametric form, but differed in the exact parameters. By simulating larva behavior in virtual arenas we can infer which properties of the environments are better for each species. Comparisons between these inferred environments and the actual environments where these animals live will give us a deeper understanding about the evolution of foraging behavior in Drosophilid larvae.

  5. Honeybee foraging in differentially structured landscapes.

    PubMed Central

    Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Kuhn, Arno

    2003-01-01

    Honeybees communicate the distance and location of resource patches by bee dances, but this spatial information has rarely been used to study their foraging ecology. We analysed, for the first time to the best of the authors' knowledge, foraging distances and dance activities of honeybees in relation to landscape structure, season and colony using a replicated experimental approach on a landscape scale. We compared three structurally simple landscapes characterized by a high proportion of arable land and large patches, with three complex landscapes with a high proportion of semi-natural perennial habitats and low mean patch size. Four observation hives were placed in the centre of the landscapes and switched at regular intervals between the six landscapes from the beginning of May to the end of July. A total of 1137 bee dances were observed and decoded. Overall mean foraging distance was 1526.1 +/- 37.2 m, the median 1181.5 m and range 62.1-10037.1 m. Mean foraging distances of all bees and foraging distances of nectar-collecting bees did not significantly differ between simple and complex landscapes, but varied between month and colonies. Foraging distances of pollen-collecting bees were significantly larger in simple (1743 +/- 95.6 m) than in complex landscapes (1543.4 +/- 71 m) and highest in June when resources were scarce. Dancing activity, i.e. the number of observed bee dances per unit time, was significantly higher in complex than in simple landscapes, presumably because of larger spatial and temporal variability of resource patches in complex landscapes. The results facilitate an understanding of how human landscape modification may change the evolutionary significance of bee dances and ecological interactions, such as pollination and competition between honeybees and other bee species. PMID:12769455

  6. Sharing a resource with randomly arriving foragers.

    PubMed

    Bernhard, Pierre; Hamelin, Frédéric

    2016-03-01

    We consider a problem of foraging where identical foragers, or predators, arrive as a stochastic Poisson process on the same patch of resource. We provide effective formulas for the expected resource intake of any of the agents, as a function of its rank, given their common functional response. We give a general theory, both in finite and infinite horizon, and show two examples of applications to harvesting a common under different assumptions about the resource dynamics and the functional response, and an example of application on a model that fits, among others, a problem of evolution of fungal plant parasites.

  7. A properly adjusted forage harvester can save time and money

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A properly adjusted forage harvester can save fuel and increase the realizable milk per ton of your silage. This article details the adjustments necessary to minimize energy while maximizing productivity and forage quality....

  8. Isolation of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus from muskellunge, Esox masquinongy (Mitchill), in Lake St Clair, Michigan, USA reveals a new sublineage of the North American genotype

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Elsayed, E.; Faisal, M.; Thomas, M.; Whelan, G.; Batts, W.; Winton, J.

    2006-01-01

    Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) was isolated from muskellunge, Esox masquinongy (Mitchill), caught from the NW portion of Lake St Clair, Michigan, USA in 2003. Affected fish exhibited congestion of internal organs; the inner wall of the swim bladder was thickened and contained numerous budding, fluid-filled vesicles. A virus was isolated using fish cell lines inoculated with a homogenate of kidney and spleen tissues from affected fish. Focal areas of cell rounding and granulation appeared as early as 24 h post-inoculation and expanded rapidly to destroy the entire cell sheet by 96 h. Electron microscopy revealed virions that were 170-180 nm in length by 60-70 nm in width having a bullet-shaped morphology typical of rhabdoviruses. The virus was confirmed as VHSV by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Sequence analysis of the entire nucleoprotein and glycoprotein genes revealed the virus was a member of the North American genotype of VHSV; however, the isolate was sufficiently distinct to be considered a separate sublineage, suggesting its origin may have been from marine species inhabiting the eastern coastal areas of the USA or Canada.

  9. Effects of rain damage on wilting forages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One of the most common problems faced by hay or silage producers is how to manage production schedules around unfavorable weather. Inevitably, some wilting forage crops are damaged by unexpected rainfall events each year, and producers often inquire about the effects of unexpected rain damage, and w...

  10. The Kanizsa triangle illusion in foraging ants.

    PubMed

    Sakiyama, Tomoko; Gunji, Yukio-Pegio

    2016-01-01

    The Kanizsa triangle, wherein three Pac-Man configurations symmetrically face inwards, is a well-known illusion. By exposing foraging ants (Lasius niger) to Kanizsa-shaped honeydew solutions, we studied the origin of this illusion. More specifically, we examined whether foraging ants showed different movement reactions to local honeydew patterns formed by nestmates. This novel phenomenon could serve as an abstract model of the Kanizsa triangle illusion under the assumption that such an illusion could arise through the sum of each agent's limited global cognitions, because each agent could not perceive the entire subjective contours. Even a subjective consciousness consists of some parts which have no identical perception and could be an illusion. We succeeded in inducing foragers to move along the sides of a Kanizsa triangle when Pac-Man-shaped inducers were introduced. Furthermore, foragers appeared to form Y-shaped trajectories when dot-shaped or inverse Kanizsa inducers were used. Based on our findings, we propose an agent-based ant model that compares modelled behaviour with experimental phenomena. Our abstract model could be used to explain such cognitive phenomena for bottom-up processes, because ants cannot perceive the given subjective contours, instead simply move along the edges.

  11. The Dynamics of Infant Visual Foraging

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Steven S.; Guckenheimer, John; Masnick, Amy M.; Bacher, Leigh F.

    2004-01-01

    Human infants actively forage for visual information from the moment of birth onward. Although we know a great deal about how stimulus characteristics influence looking behavior in the first few postnatal weeks, we know much less about the intrinsic dynamics of the behavior. Here we show that a simple stochastic dynamical system acts…

  12. Investigating Optimal Foraging Theory in the Laboratory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harden, Siegfried; Grilliot, Matthew E.

    2014-01-01

    Optimal foraging theory is a principle that is often presented in the community ecology section of biology textbooks, but also can be demonstrated in the laboratory. We introduce a lab activity that uses an interactive strategy to teach high school and/or college students about this ecological concept. The activity is ideal because it engages…

  13. Balancing organization and flexibility in foraging dynamics.

    PubMed

    Tabone, Michaelangelo; Ermentrout, Bard; Doiron, Brent

    2010-10-07

    Proper pattern organization and reorganization are central problems facing many biological networks which thrive in fluctuating environments. However, in many cases the mechanisms that organize system activity oppose those that support behavioral flexibility. Thus, a balance between pattern organization and pattern flexibility is critically important for overall biological fitness. We study this balance in the foraging strategies of ant colonies exploiting food in dynamic environments. We present discrete time and space simulations of colony activity that uses a pheromone-based recruitment strategy biasing foraging towards a food source. After food relocation, the pheromone must evaporate sufficiently before foraging can shift colony attention to a new food source. The amount of food consumed within the dynamic environment depends non-monotonically on the pheromone evaporation time constant-with maximal consumption occurring at a time constant which balances trail formation and trail flexibility. A deterministic, 'mean field' model of pheromone and foragers on trails mimics our colony simulations. This reduced framework captures the essence of the flexibility-organization balance, and relates optimal pheromone evaporation to the timescale of the dynamic environment. We expect that the principles exposed in our study will generalize and motivate novel analysis across a broad range systems biology.

  14. Forage harvest representation in RUSLE2

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE and RUSLE2) has long been used by USDA and others for management planning based on soil erosion and sediment delivery estimates. It has worked well for normal annual agronomic crops, but proved to be awkward for forage crops. This is partly because RU...

  15. Improving forage quality using seedhead management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Controlling seedhead emergence in perennial grass pastures can extend vegetative growth and high leaf:stem ratios to avoid declines in forage quality during the reproductive development of grasses. There are various management tools for controlling the emergence of seedheads. Pastures can be mowed...

  16. Animal Methods for Evaluating Forage Quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Numerous methods are available that employ animals in the assessment of forage quality. Some of these procedures provide information needed to address very specific goals (e.g., monitoring protein adequacy), some serve as useful contributors to the efforts to accurately predict nutritive value, wher...

  17. Rangeland and warm-season forage grasses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Livestock ranchers depend on grassland grazing for a substantial part of their livestock management systems. Grassland forages make up to 85% of the feed supply for ruminant animal products, especially in warm climates. Grass breeding in general creates some unique breeding challenges ranging from...

  18. Scholarly Foraging and Network Discovery Tools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cronin, Blaise; Hert, Carol A.

    1995-01-01

    Parallels between subsistence foraging and scholarly information seeking are described in the context of the World Wide Web. Suggests that the prevailing information retrieval paradigm does not capture the complex of behavior and stimuli that drives scholars' quests for new ideas and insights. Research questions are suggested by extended use of…

  19. California Least Tern Foraging Ecology in Southern California: A Review of Foraging Behavior Relative to Proposed Dredging Locations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-05-01

    ER D C/ EL C R- 16 -3 Dredging Operations and Environmental Research Program California Least Tern Foraging Ecology in Southern...client/default. Dredging Operations and Environmental Research Program ERDC/EL CR-16-3 May 2016 California Least Tern Foraging Ecology in...reviewed for an overview of CLT foraging ecology , and so that CLT tendencies to forage in habitats near CCW could be inferred for areas where no

  20. Responses of late-lactation cows to forage substitutes in low-forage diets supplemented with by-products

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In response to drought-induced shortages of forage and increased corn and soy prices, a study was conducted to evaluate lactation response of dairy cows to lower-forage diets supplemented with forage substitutes and with byproduct feeds entirely substituted for corn grain and soybean feeds. The desi...

  1. Anterior cingulate engagement in a foraging context reflects choice difficulty, not foraging value.

    PubMed

    Shenhav, Amitai; Straccia, Mark A; Cohen, Jonathan D; Botvinick, Matthew M

    2014-09-01

    Previous theories predict that human dorsal anterior cingulate (dACC) should respond to decision difficulty. An alternative theory has been recently advanced that proposes that dACC evolved to represent the value of 'non-default', foraging behavior, calling into question its role in choice difficulty. However, this new theory does not take into account that choosing whether or not to pursue foraging-like behavior can also be more difficult than simply resorting to a default. The results of two neuroimaging experiments show that dACC is only associated with foraging value when foraging value is confounded with choice difficulty; when the two are dissociated, dACC engagement is only explained by choice difficulty, and not the value of foraging. In addition to refuting this new theory, our studies help to formalize a fundamental connection between choice difficulty and foraging-like decisions, while also prescribing a solution for a common pitfall in studies of reward-based decision making.

  2. Perching but not foraging networks predict the spread of novel foraging skills in starlings.

    PubMed

    Boogert, Neeltje J; Nightingale, Glenna F; Hoppitt, William; Laland, Kevin N

    2014-11-01

    The directed social learning hypothesis suggests that information does not spread evenly through animal groups, but rather individual characteristics and patterns of physical proximity guide the social transmission of information along specific pathways. Network-based diffusion analysis (NBDA) allows researchers to test whether information spreads following a social network. However, the explanatory power of different social networks has rarely been compared, and current models do not easily accommodate random effects (e.g. allowing for individuals within groups to correlate in their asocial solving rates). We tested whether the spread of two novel foraging skills through captive starling groups was affected by individual- and group-level random and fixed effects (i.e. sex, age, body condition, dominance rank and demonstrator status) and perching or foraging networks. We extended NBDA to include random effects and conducted model discrimination in a Bayesian context. We found that social learning increased the rate at which birds acquired the novel foraging task solutions by 6.67 times, and acquiring one of the two novel foraging task solutions facilitated the asocial acquisition of the other. Surprisingly, the spread of task solutions followed the perching rather than the foraging social network. Upon acquiring a task solution, foraging performance was facilitated by the presence of group mates. Our results highlight the importance of considering more than one social network when predicting the spread of information through animal groups. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cognition in the wild.

  3. Is there an endogenous tidal foraging rhythm in marine iguanas?

    PubMed

    Wikelski, M; Hau, M

    1995-12-01

    As strictly herbivorous reptiles, Galápagos marine iguanas graze on algae in the intertidal areas during low tide. Daily foraging rhythms were observed on two islands during 3 years to determine the proximate factors underlying behavioral synchrony with the tides. Marine iguanas walked to their intertidal foraging grounds from far-off resting areas in anticipation of the time of low tide. Foraging activity was restricted to daytime, resulting in a complex bitidal rhythm including conspicuous switches from afternoon foraging to foraging during the subsequent morning when low tide occurred after dusk. The animals anticipated the daily low tide by a maximum of 4 h. The degree of anticipation depended on environmental parameters such as wave action and food supply. "Early foragers" survived in greater numbers than did animals arriving later at foraging sites, a result indicating selection pressure on the timing of anticipation. The timing of foraging trips was better predicted by the daily changes in tabulated low tide than it was by the daily changes in actual exposure of the intertidal foraging flats, suggesting an endogenous nature of the foraging rhythms. Endogenous rhythmicity would also explain why iguanas that had spontaneously fasted for several days nevertheless went foraging at the "right" time of day. A potential lunar component of the foraging rhythmicity of marine iguanas showed up in their assemblage on intertidal rocks during neap tide nights. This may indicate that iguanas possessed information on the semi-monthly rhythms in tide heights. Enclosure experiments showed that bitidal foraging rhythms of iguanas may free run in the absence of direct cues from the intertidal areas and operate independent of the light:dark cycle and social stimuli. Therefore, the existence of a circatidal oscillator in marine iguanas is proposed. The bitidal foraging pattern may result from an interaction of a circadian system with a circatidal system. Food intake or related

  4. Attention as foraging for information and value

    PubMed Central

    Manohar, Sanjay G.; Husain, Masud

    2013-01-01

    What is the purpose of attention? One avenue of research has led to the proposal that attention might be crucial for gathering information about the environment, while other lines of study have demonstrated how attention may play a role in guiding behavior to rewarded options. Many experiments that study attention require participants to make a decision based on information acquired discretely at one point in time. In real-world situations, however, we are usually not presented with information about which option to select in such a manner. Rather we must initially search for information, weighing up reward values of options before we commit to a decision. Here, we propose that attention plays a role in both foraging for information and foraging for value. When foraging for information, attention is guided toward the unknown. When foraging for reward, attention is guided toward high reward values, allowing decision-making to proceed by accept-or-reject decisions on the currently attended option. According to this account, attention can be regarded as a low-cost alternative to moving around and physically interacting with the environment—“teleforaging”—before a decision is made to interact physically with the world. To track the timecourse of attention, we asked participants to seek out and acquire information about two gambles by directing their gaze, before choosing one of them. Participants often made multiple refixations on items before making a decision. Their eye movements revealed that early in the trial, attention was guided toward information, i.e., toward locations that reduced uncertainty about value. In contrast, late in the trial, attention was guided by expected value of the options. At the end of the decision period, participants were generally attending to the item they eventually chose. We suggest that attentional foraging shifts from an uncertainty-driven to a reward-driven mode during the evolution of a decision, permitting decisions to be

  5. How patrollers set foraging direction in harvester ants.

    PubMed

    Greene, Michael J; Gordon, Deborah M

    2007-12-01

    Recruitment to food or nest sites is well known in ants; the recruiting ants lay a chemical trail that other ants follow to the target site, or they walk with other ants to the target site. Here we report that a different process determines foraging direction in the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus. Each day, the colony chooses from among up to eight distinct foraging trails; colonies use different trails on different days. Here we show that the patrollers regulate the direction taken by foragers each day by depositing Dufour's secretions onto a sector of the nest mound about 20 cm long and leading to the beginning of a foraging trail. The patrollers do not recruit foragers all the way to food sources, which may be up to 20 m away. Fewer foragers traveled along a trail if patrollers had no access to the sector of the nest mound leading to that trail. Adding Dufour's gland extract to patroller-free sectors of the nest mound rescued foraging in that direction, while poison gland extract did not. We also found that in the absence of patrollers, most foragers used the direction they had used on the previous day. Thus, the colony's 30-50 patrollers act as gatekeepers for thousands of foragers and choose a foraging direction, but they do not recruit and lead foragers all the way to a food source.

  6. Ant Foraging As an Indicator of Tropical Dry Forest Restoration.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Flores, J; Osorio-Beristain, M; Martínez-Garza, C

    2016-08-01

    Variation in foraging behavior may indicate differences in food availability and allow assessment of restoration actions. Ants are prominent bioindicators used in assessing ecological responses to disturbance. However, behavioral data have been poorly incorporated as an index. The foraging performance of red harvester ants was quantified in order to evaluate the success of a restoration ecology experiment in the tropical dry forest of Sierra de Huautla, Morelos, in central Mexico. Foraging performance by granivorous, Pogonomyrmex barbatus, ants was diminished after 6 and 8 years of cattle grazing and wood harvest were excluded as part of a restoration experiment in a highly degraded biome. Despite investing more time in foraging, ant colonies in exclusion plots showed lower foraging success and acquired less seed biomass than colonies in control plots. In line with the predictions of optimal foraging theory, in restored plots where ant foraging performance was poor, ants harvested a higher diversity of seeds. Reduced foraging success and increased harvest of non-preferred foods in exclusion plots were likely due to the growth of herbaceous vegetation, which impedes travel by foragers. Moreover, by 8 years of exclusion, 37% of nests in exclusion plots had disappeared compared to 0% of nests in control plots. Ants' foraging success and behavior were sensitive to changes in habitat quality due to the plant successional process triggered by a restoration intervention. This study spotlights on the utility of animal foraging behavior in the evaluation of habitat restoration programs.

  7. The hidden cost of information in collective foraging

    PubMed Central

    Dechaume-Moncharmont, François-Xavier; Dornhaus, Anna; Houston, Alasdair I; McNamara, John M; Collins, Edmund J; Franks, Nigel R

    2005-01-01

    Many animals nest or roost colonially. At the start of a potential foraging period, they may set out independently or await information from returning foragers. When should such individuals act independently and when should they wait for information? In a social insect colony, for example, information transfer may greatly increase a recruit's probability of finding food, and it is commonly assumed that this will always increase the colony's net energy gain. We test this assumption with a mathematical model. Energy gain by a colony is a function both of the probability of finding food sources and of the duration of their availability. A key factor is the ratio of pro-active foragers to re-active foragers. When leaving the nest, pro-active foragers search for food independently, whereas re-active foragers rely on information from successful foragers to find food. Under certain conditions, the optimum strategy is totally independent (pro-active) foraging because potentially valuable information that re-active foragers may gain from successful foragers is not worth waiting for. This counter-intuitive outcome is remarkably robust over a wide range of parameters. It occurs because food sources are only available for a limited period. Our study emphasizes the importance of time constraints and the analysis of dynamics, not just steady states, to understand social insect foraging. PMID:16087424

  8. Summertime blues: August foraging leaves honey bees empty-handed.

    PubMed

    Couvillon, Margaret J; Fensome, Katherine A; Quah, Shaun Kl; Schürch, Roger

    2014-01-01

    A successful honey bee forager tells her nestmates the location of good nectar and pollen with the waggle dance, a symbolic language that communicates a distance and direction. Because bees are adept at scouting out profitable forage and are very sensitive to energetic reward, we can use the distance that bees communicate via waggle dances as a proxy for forage availability, where the further the bees fly, the less forage can be found locally. Previously we demonstrated that bees fly furthest in the summer compared with spring or autumn to bring back forage that is not necessarily of better quality. Here we show that August is also the month when significantly more foragers return with empty crops (P = 7.63e-06). This provides additional support that summer may represent a seasonal foraging challenge for honey bees.

  9. Information Foraging Theory in Software Maintenance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    accomplished Publications Define the theory Objective 1: Define an information foraging theory (IFT) for software maintenance Lawrance et al. (to...appear) Lawrance et al. 2010 Ko et al. 2012 Burnett et al. 2011 Piorkowski et al. 2012b (in review) Develop and empirically evaluate...computational models Objective 2: Develop predictive computational models for programmer navigation Lawrance et al. 2010 Lawrance et al. (to appear

  10. Visually guided decision making in foraging honeybees.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shaowu; Si, Aung; Pahl, Mario

    2012-01-01

    Honeybees can easily be trained to perform different types of discrimination tasks under controlled laboratory conditions. This review describes a range of experiments carried out with free-flying forager honeybees under such conditions. The research done over the past 30 or so years suggests that cognitive abilities (learning and perception) in insects are more intricate and flexible than was originally imagined. It has become apparent that honeybees are capable of a variety of visually guided tasks, involving decision making under challenging situations: this includes simultaneously making use of different sensory modalities, such as vision and olfaction, and learning to use abstract concepts such as "sameness" and "difference." Many studies have shown that decision making in foraging honeybees is highly flexible. The trained animals learn how to solve a task, and do so with a high accuracy, but when they are presented with a new variation of the task, they apply the learnt rules from the earlier setup to the new situation, and solve the new task as well. Honeybees therefore not only feature a rich behavioral repertoire to choose from, but also make decisions most apt to the current situation. The experiments in this review give an insight into the environmental cues and cognitive resources that are probably highly significant for a forager bee that must continually make decisions regarding patches of resources to be exploited.

  11. Habitat-specific foraging of prothonotary warblers: Deducing habitat quality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lyons, J.E.

    2005-01-01

    Foraging behavior often reflects food availability in predictable ways. For example, in habitats where food availability is high, predators should attack prey more often and move more slowly than in habitats where food availability is low. To assess relative food availability and habitat quality, I studied the foraging behavior of breeding Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea) in two forest habitat types, cypress-gum swamp forest and coastal-plain levee forest. I quantified foraging behavior with focal animal sampling and continuous recording during foraging bouts. I measured two aspects of foraging behavior: 1) prey attack rate (attacks per minute), using four attack maneuvers (glean, sally, hover, strike), and 2) foraging speed (movements per minute), using three types of movement (hop, short flight [???1 m], long flight [>1 m]). Warblers attacked prey more often in cypress-gum swamp forest than in coastal-plain levee forest. Foraging speed, however, was not different between habitats. I also measured foraging effort (% time spent foraging) and relative frequency of attack maneuvers employed in each habitat; neither of these variables was influenced by forest type. I conclude that Prothonotary Warblers encounter more prey when foraging in cypress-gum swamps than in coastal-plain levee forest, and that greater food availability results in higher density and greater reproductive success for birds breeding in cypress-gum swamp.

  12. Spatiotemporal resource distribution and foraging strategies of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Lanan, Michele

    2014-01-01

    The distribution of food resources in space and time is likely to be an important factor governing the type of foraging strategy used by ants. However, no previous systematic attempt has been made to determine whether spatiotemporal resource distribution is in fact correlated with foraging strategy across the ants. In this analysis, I present data compiled from the literature on the foraging strategy and food resource use of 402 species of ants from across the phylogenetic tree. By categorizing the distribution of resources reported in these studies in terms of size relative to colony size, spatial distribution relative to colony foraging range, frequency of occurrence in time relative to worker life span, and depletability (i.e., whether the colony can cause a change in resource frequency), I demonstrate that different foraging strategies are indeed associated with specific spatiotemporal resource attributes. The general patterns I describe here can therefore be used as a framework to inform predictions in future studies of ant foraging behavior. No differences were found between resources collected via short-term recruitment strategies (group recruitment, short-term trails, and volatile recruitment), whereas different resource distributions were associated with solitary foraging, trunk trails, long-term trail networks, group raiding, and raiding. In many cases, ant species use a combination of different foraging strategies to collect diverse resources. It is useful to consider these foraging strategies not as separate options but as modular parts of the total foraging effort of a colony. PMID:25525497

  13. Utilisation of Intensive Foraging Zones by Female Australian Fur Seals

    PubMed Central

    Hoskins, Andrew J.; Costa, Daniel P.; Arnould, John P. Y.

    2015-01-01

    Within a heterogeneous environment, animals must efficiently locate and utilise foraging patches. One way animals can achieve this is by increasing residency times in areas where foraging success is highest (area-restricted search). For air-breathing diving predators, increased patch residency times can be achieved by altering both surface movements and diving patterns. The current study aimed to spatially identify the areas where female Australian fur seals allocated the most foraging effort, while simultaneously determining the behavioural changes that occur when they increase their foraging intensity. To achieve this, foraging behaviour was successfully recorded with a FastLoc GPS logger and dive behaviour recorder from 29 individual females provisioning pups. Females travelled an average of 118 ± 50 km from their colony during foraging trips that lasted 7.3 ± 3.4 days. Comparison of two methods for calculating foraging intensity (first-passage time and first-passage time modified to include diving behaviour) determined that, due to extended surface intervals where individuals did not travel, inclusion of diving behaviour into foraging analyses was important for this species. Foraging intensity ‘hot spots’ were found to exist in a mosaic of patches within the Bass Basin, primarily to the south-west of the colony. However, the composition of benthic habitat being targeted remains unclear. When increasing their foraging intensity, individuals tended to perform dives around 148 s or greater, with descent/ascent rates of approximately 1.9 m•s-1 or greater and reduced postdive durations. This suggests individuals were maximising their time within the benthic foraging zone. Furthermore, individuals increased tortuosity and decreased travel speeds while at the surface to maximise their time within a foraging location. These results suggest Australian fur seals will modify both surface movements and diving behaviour to maximise their time within a foraging patch

  14. Utilisation of intensive foraging zones by female Australian fur seals.

    PubMed

    Hoskins, Andrew J; Costa, Daniel P; Arnould, John P Y

    2015-01-01

    Within a heterogeneous environment, animals must efficiently locate and utilise foraging patches. One way animals can achieve this is by increasing residency times in areas where foraging success is highest (area-restricted search). For air-breathing diving predators, increased patch residency times can be achieved by altering both surface movements and diving patterns. The current study aimed to spatially identify the areas where female Australian fur seals allocated the most foraging effort, while simultaneously determining the behavioural changes that occur when they increase their foraging intensity. To achieve this, foraging behaviour was successfully recorded with a FastLoc GPS logger and dive behaviour recorder from 29 individual females provisioning pups. Females travelled an average of 118 ± 50 km from their colony during foraging trips that lasted 7.3 ± 3.4 days. Comparison of two methods for calculating foraging intensity (first-passage time and first-passage time modified to include diving behaviour) determined that, due to extended surface intervals where individuals did not travel, inclusion of diving behaviour into foraging analyses was important for this species. Foraging intensity 'hot spots' were found to exist in a mosaic of patches within the Bass Basin, primarily to the south-west of the colony. However, the composition of benthic habitat being targeted remains unclear. When increasing their foraging intensity, individuals tended to perform dives around 148 s or greater, with descent/ascent rates of approximately 1.9 m•s-1 or greater and reduced postdive durations. This suggests individuals were maximising their time within the benthic foraging zone. Furthermore, individuals increased tortuosity and decreased travel speeds while at the surface to maximise their time within a foraging location. These results suggest Australian fur seals will modify both surface movements and diving behaviour to maximise their time within a foraging patch.

  15. Are seabirds foraging for unpredictable resources?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weimerskirch, Henri

    2007-02-01

    It is generally assumed that the extreme life history traits of pelagic seabirds, such as low fecundity or slow growth of chicks, result from the difficulties obtaining energy at sea from unpredictable and patchily distributed resources. However, little information on seabird prey distribution and availability exists to sustain this widely accepted hypothesis. Using tracking studies of 68 sub-populations of flying seabirds, I examine whether it is possible to gain information on the predictability of their marine resources. Because prey are clustered from fine to large scale in nested unities, from swarms to patches and concentrations of patches, it is important to take into account spatial scale. In temperate and polar regions, at large and meso-scales, seabirds appear to have a good knowledge of the location and concentrations of patches and generally use a commuting type of trip to reach foraging zones. Predictability appears to be high at large and meso-scales, with individuals from each sub-population heading in a particular direction from the colony to reach favoured habitats of known enhanced productivity such as shelf edges, frontal zones, upwellings. Within these mesoscale features, the animals use an area-restricted search behaviour to search for patches and swarms at finer scales. Using information on foraging site fidelity of individual birds, I show that differences in predictability at coarse scales are related to the distance and time spent foraging, and in particular to the specific types of foraging habitat. Some habitats appear to be more predictable than others: birds return consistently to the same coarse-scale sectors on shelf edges, whereas predictability is low in oceanic waters, even in frontal zones. Preliminary results on tropical species suggest that the environment here is less predictable in tropic than in temperate or polar zones. This review highlights that patchiness and predictability of marine resources are complex notions

  16. Do wintering Harlequin Ducks forage nocturnally at high latitudes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rizzolo, D.J.; Esler, Daniel; Roby, D.D.; Jarvis, R.L.

    2005-01-01

    We monitored radio-tagged Harlequin Ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) to determine whether nocturnal feeding was part of their foraging strategy during winter in south-central Alaska. Despite attributes of our study site (low ambient temperatures, harsh weather, short day length) and study species (small body size, high daytime foraging rates) that would be expected to favor nocturnal foraging, we found no evidence of nocturnal dive-feeding. Signals from eight radio-tagged Harlequin Ducks never exhibited signal loss due to diving during a total of 780 minutes of nocturnal monitoring. In contrast, the same eight birds exhibited signal loss during 62 ± 7% (SE) of 5-minute diurnal monitoring periods (total of 365 minutes of monitoring). Our results suggest that Harlequin Ducks in south-central Alaska face a stringent time constraint on daytime foraging during midwinter. Harlequin Ducks wintering at high latitudes, therefore, may be particularly sensitive to factors that increase foraging requirements or decrease foraging efficiency.

  17. Review: Feeding conserved forage to horses: recent advances and recommendations.

    PubMed

    Harris, P A; Ellis, A D; Fradinho, M J; Jansson, A; Julliand, V; Luthersson, N; Santos, A S; Vervuert, I

    2016-11-24

    The horse is a non-ruminant herbivore adapted to eating plant-fibre or forage-based diets. Some horses are stabled for most or the majority of the day with limited or no access to fresh pasture and are fed preserved forage typically as hay or haylage and sometimes silage. This raises questions with respect to the quality and suitability of these preserved forages (considering production, nutritional content, digestibility as well as hygiene) and required quantities. Especially for performance horses, forage is often replaced with energy dense feedstuffs which can result in a reduction in the proportion of the diet that is forage based. This may adversely affect the health, welfare, behaviour and even performance of the horse. In the past 20 years a large body of research work has contributed to a better and deeper understanding of equine forage needs and the physiological and behavioural consequences if these are not met. Recent nutrient requirement systems have incorporated some, but not all, of this new knowledge into their recommendations. This review paper amalgamates recommendations based on the latest understanding in forage feeding for horses, defining forage types and preservation methods, hygienic quality, feed intake behaviour, typical nutrient composition, digestion and digestibility as well as health and performance implications. Based on this, consensual applied recommendations for feeding preserved forages are provided.

  18. Habitat-specific foraging strategies in Australasian gannets

    PubMed Central

    Wells, Melanie R.; Arnould, John P. Y.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Knowledge of top predator foraging adaptability is imperative for predicting their biological response to environmental variability. While seabirds have developed highly specialised techniques to locate prey, little is known about intraspecific variation in foraging strategies with many studies deriving information from uniform oceanic environments. Australasian gannets (Morus serrator) typically forage in continental shelf regions on small schooling prey. The present study used GPS and video data loggers to compare habitat-specific foraging strategies at two sites of contrasting oceanographic regimes (deep water near the continental shelf edge, n=23; shallow inshore embayment, n=26), in south-eastern Australia. Individuals from the continental shelf site exhibited pelagic foraging behaviours typical of gannet species, using local enhancement to locate and feed on small schooling fish; in contrast only 50% of the individuals from the inshore site foraged offshore, displaying the typical pelagic foraging strategy. The remainder adopted a strategy of searching sand banks in shallow inshore waters in the absence of conspecifics and other predators for large, single prey items. Furthermore, of the individuals foraging inshore, 93% were male, indicating that the inshore strategy may be sex-specific. Large inter-colony differences in Australasian gannets suggest strong plasticity in foraging behaviours, essential for adapting to environmental change. PMID:27305927

  19. Adaptive collective foraging in groups with conflicting nutritional needs.

    PubMed

    Senior, Alistair M; Lihoreau, Mathieu; Charleston, Michael A; Buhl, Jerome; Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen J

    2016-04-01

    Collective foraging, based on positive feedback and quorum responses, is believed to improve the foraging efficiency of animals. Nutritional models suggest that social information transfer increases the ability of foragers with closely aligned nutritional needs to find nutrients and maintain a balanced diet. However, whether or not collective foraging is adaptive in a heterogeneous group composed of individuals with differing nutritional needs is virtually unexplored. Here we develop an evolutionary agent-based model using concepts of nutritional ecology to address this knowledge gap. Our aim was to evaluate how collective foraging, mediated by social retention on foods, can improve nutrient balancing in individuals with different requirements. The model suggests that in groups where inter-individual nutritional needs are unimodally distributed, high levels of collective foraging yield optimal individual fitness by reducing search times that result from moving between nutritionally imbalanced foods. However, where nutritional needs are highly bimodal (e.g. where the requirements of males and females differ) collective foraging is selected against, leading to group fission. In this case, additional mechanisms such as assortative interactions can coevolve to allow collective foraging by subgroups of individuals with aligned requirements. Our findings indicate that collective foraging is an efficient strategy for nutrient regulation in animals inhabiting complex nutritional environments and exhibiting a range of social forms.

  20. Adaptive collective foraging in groups with conflicting nutritional needs

    PubMed Central

    Senior, Alistair M.; Lihoreau, Mathieu; Charleston, Michael A.; Buhl, Jerome; Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    Collective foraging, based on positive feedback and quorum responses, is believed to improve the foraging efficiency of animals. Nutritional models suggest that social information transfer increases the ability of foragers with closely aligned nutritional needs to find nutrients and maintain a balanced diet. However, whether or not collective foraging is adaptive in a heterogeneous group composed of individuals with differing nutritional needs is virtually unexplored. Here we develop an evolutionary agent-based model using concepts of nutritional ecology to address this knowledge gap. Our aim was to evaluate how collective foraging, mediated by social retention on foods, can improve nutrient balancing in individuals with different requirements. The model suggests that in groups where inter-individual nutritional needs are unimodally distributed, high levels of collective foraging yield optimal individual fitness by reducing search times that result from moving between nutritionally imbalanced foods. However, where nutritional needs are highly bimodal (e.g. where the requirements of males and females differ) collective foraging is selected against, leading to group fission. In this case, additional mechanisms such as assortative interactions can coevolve to allow collective foraging by subgroups of individuals with aligned requirements. Our findings indicate that collective foraging is an efficient strategy for nutrient regulation in animals inhabiting complex nutritional environments and exhibiting a range of social forms. PMID:27152206

  1. Suboptimal foraging behavior: A new perspective on gambling

    PubMed Central

    Addicott, Merideth A.; Pearson, John M.; Kaiser, Nicole; Platt, Michael L.; McClernon, F. Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Why do people gamble? Conventional views hold that gambling may be motivated by irrational beliefs, risk-seeking, impulsive temperament, or dysfunction within the same reward circuitry affected by drugs of abuse. An alternate, unexplored perspective is that gambling is an extension of natural foraging behavior to a financial environment. However, when these foraging algorithms are applied to stochastic gambling outcomes, undesirable results may occur. To test this hypothesis, we recruited participants based on their frequency of gambling – yearly (or less), monthly, and weekly – and investigated how gambling frequency related to irrational beliefs, risk-taking/impulsivity, and foraging behavior. We found that increased gambling frequency corresponded to greater gambling-related beliefs, more exploratory choices on an explore/exploit foraging task, and fewer points earned on a patchy foraging task. Gambling-related beliefs negatively related to performance on the patchy foraging task, indicating that individuals with more gambling-related cognitions tended to leave a patch too quickly. This indicates that frequent gamblers have reduced foraging ability to maximize rewards; however, gambling frequency- and by extension, poor foraging ability- was not related to risk-taking or impulsive behavior. These results suggest that gambling reflects the application of a dysfunctional foraging process to financial outcomes. PMID:26191945

  2. Suboptimal foraging behavior: a new perspective on gambling.

    PubMed

    Addicott, Merideth A; Pearson, John M; Kaiser, Nicole; Platt, Michael L; McClernon, F Joseph

    2015-10-01

    Why do people gamble? Conventional views hold that gambling may be motivated by irrational beliefs, risk-seeking, impulsive temperament, or dysfunction within the same reward circuitry affected by drugs of abuse. An alternate, unexplored perspective is that gambling is an extension of natural foraging behavior to a financial environment. However, when these foraging algorithms are applied to stochastic gambling outcomes, undesirable results may occur. To test this hypothesis, we recruited participants based on their frequency of gambling-yearly (or less), monthly, and weekly-and investigated how gambling frequency related to irrational beliefs, risk-taking/impulsivity, and foraging behavior. We found that increased gambling frequency corresponded to greater gambling-related beliefs, more exploratory choices on an explore/exploit foraging task, and fewer points earned on a Patchy Foraging Task. Gambling-related beliefs negatively related to performance on the Patchy Foraging Task, indicating that individuals with more gambling-related cognitions tended to leave a patch too quickly. This indicates that frequent gamblers have reduced foraging ability to maximize rewards; however, gambling frequency -and by extension, poor foraging ability- was not related to risk-taking or impulsive behavior. These results suggest that gambling reflects the application of a dysfunctional foraging process to financial outcomes.

  3. Habitat-specific foraging strategies in Australasian gannets.

    PubMed

    Wells, Melanie R; Angel, Lauren P; Arnould, John P Y

    2016-07-15

    Knowledge of top predator foraging adaptability is imperative for predicting their biological response to environmental variability. While seabirds have developed highly specialised techniques to locate prey, little is known about intraspecific variation in foraging strategies with many studies deriving information from uniform oceanic environments. Australasian gannets (Morus serrator) typically forage in continental shelf regions on small schooling prey. The present study used GPS and video data loggers to compare habitat-specific foraging strategies at two sites of contrasting oceanographic regimes (deep water near the continental shelf edge, n=23; shallow inshore embayment, n=26), in south-eastern Australia. Individuals from the continental shelf site exhibited pelagic foraging behaviours typical of gannet species, using local enhancement to locate and feed on small schooling fish; in contrast only 50% of the individuals from the inshore site foraged offshore, displaying the typical pelagic foraging strategy. The remainder adopted a strategy of searching sand banks in shallow inshore waters in the absence of conspecifics and other predators for large, single prey items. Furthermore, of the individuals foraging inshore, 93% were male, indicating that the inshore strategy may be sex-specific. Large inter-colony differences in Australasian gannets suggest strong plasticity in foraging behaviours, essential for adapting to environmental change.

  4. Foraging modality and plasticity in foraging traits determine the strength of competitive interactions among carnivorous plants, spiders and toads.

    PubMed

    Jennings, David E; Krupa, James J; Rohr, Jason R

    2016-07-01

    Foraging modalities (e.g. passive, sit-and-wait, active) and traits are plastic in some species, but the extent to which this plasticity affects interspecific competition remains unclear. Using a long-term laboratory mesocosm experiment, we quantified competition strength and the plasticity of foraging traits in a guild of generalist predators of arthropods with a range of foraging modalities. Each mesocosm contained eight passively foraging pink sundews, and we employed an experimental design where treatments were the presence or absence of a sit-and-wait foraging spider and actively foraging toad crossed with five levels of prey abundance. We hypothesized that actively foraging toads would outcompete the other species at low prey abundance, but that spiders and sundews would exhibit plasticity in foraging traits to compensate for strong competition when prey were limited. Results generally supported our hypotheses. Toads had a greater effect on sundews at low prey abundances, and toad presence caused spiders to locate webs higher above the ground. Additionally, the closer large spider webs were to the ground, the greater the trichome densities produced by sundews. Also, spider webs were larger with than without toads and as sundew numbers increased, and these effects were more prominent as resources became limited. Finally, spiders negatively affected toad growth only at low prey abundance. These findings highlight the long-term importance of foraging modality and plasticity of foraging traits in determining the strength of competition within and across taxonomic kingdoms. Future research should assess whether plasticity in foraging traits helps to maintain coexistence within this guild and whether foraging modality can be used as a trait to reliably predict the strength of competitive interactions.

  5. Complex scaling behavior in animal foraging patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Premachandra, Prabhavi Kaushalya

    This dissertation attempts to answer questions from two different areas of biology, ecology and neuroscience, using physics-based techniques. In Section 2, suitability of three competing random walk models is tested to describe the emergent movement patterns of two species of primates. The truncated power law (power law with exponential cut off) is the most suitable random walk model that characterizes the emergent movement patterns of these primates. In Section 3, an agent-based model is used to simulate search behavior in different environments (landscapes) to investigate the impact of the resource landscape on the optimal foraging movement patterns of deterministic foragers. It should be noted that this model goes beyond previous work in that it includes parameters such as spatial memory and satiation, which have received little consideration to date in the field of movement ecology. When the food availability is scarce in a tropical forest-like environment with feeding trees distributed in a clumped fashion and the size of those trees are distributed according to a lognormal distribution, the optimal foraging pattern of a generalist who can consume various and abundant food types indeed reaches the Levy range, and hence, show evidence for Levy-flight-like (power law distribution with exponent between 1 and 3) behavior. Section 4 of the dissertation presents an investigation of phase transition behavior in a network of locally coupled self-sustained oscillators as the system passes through various bursting states. The results suggest that a phase transition does not occur for this locally coupled neuronal network. The data analysis in the dissertation adopts a model selection approach and relies on methods based on information theory and maximum likelihood.

  6. Multimodal Floral Signals and Moth Foraging Decisions

    PubMed Central

    Riffell, Jeffrey A.; Alarcón, Ruben

    2013-01-01

    Background Combinations of floral traits – which operate as attractive signals to pollinators – act on multiple sensory modalities. For Manduca sexta hawkmoths, how learning modifies foraging decisions in response to those traits remains untested, and the contribution of visual and olfactory floral displays on behavior remains unclear. Methodology/Principal Findings Using M. sexta and the floral traits of two important nectar resources in southwestern USA, Datura wrightii and Agave palmeri, we examined the relative importance of olfactory and visual signals. Natural visual and olfactory cues from D. wrightii and A. palmeri flowers permits testing the cues at their native intensities and composition – a contrast to many studies that have used artificial stimuli (essential oils, single odorants) that are less ecologically relevant. Results from a series of two-choice assays where the olfactory and visual floral displays were manipulated showed that naïve hawkmoths preferred flowers displaying both olfactory and visual cues. Furthermore, experiments using A. palmeri flowers – a species that is not very attractive to hawkmoths – showed that the visual and olfactory displays did not have synergistic effects. The combination of olfactory and visual display of D. wrightii, however – a flower that is highly attractive to naïve hawkmoths – did influence the time moths spent feeding from the flowers. The importance of the olfactory and visual signals were further demonstrated in learning experiments in which experienced moths, when exposed to uncoupled floral displays, ultimately chose flowers based on the previously experienced olfactory, and not visual, signals. These moths, however, had significantly longer decision times than moths exposed to coupled floral displays. Conclusions/Significance These results highlight the importance of specific sensory modalities for foraging hawkmoths while also suggesting that they learn the floral displays as

  7. Comparison of sorghum classes for grain and forage yield and forage nutritive value

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sorghum represents a broad category of plants that includes those grown primarily for forage (FS) or grain. Sorghum sudan crosses (SS) are also considered sorghum. Each of these groups can be further classified as brown midrib (BMR), nonBMR, photoperiod sensitive (PS), and nonPS. In our study, sor...

  8. Nutrient-Specific Foraging in Invertebrate Predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayntz, David; Raubenheimer, David; Salomon, Mor; Toft, Søren; Simpson, Stephen J.

    2005-01-01

    Many herbivores and omnivores adjust their food selection behavior to regulate the intake of multiple nutrients. Carnivores, however, are generally assumed to optimize the rate of prey capture rather than select prey according to nutrient composition. We showed experimentally that invertebrate predators can forage selectively for protein and lipids to redress specific nutritional imbalances. This selection can take place at different stages of prey handling: The predator may select among foods of different nutritional composition, eat more of a prey if it is rich in nutrients that the predator is deficient in, or extract specific nutrients from a single prey item.

  9. Negative impact of manganese on honeybee foraging

    PubMed Central

    Søvik, Eirik; Perry, Clint J.; LaMora, Angie; Barron, Andrew B.; Ben-Shahar, Yehuda

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic accumulation of metals such as manganese is a well-established health risk factor for vertebrates. By contrast, the long-term impact of these contaminants on invertebrates is mostly unknown. Here, we demonstrate that manganese ingestion alters brain biogenic amine levels in honeybees and fruit flies. Furthermore, we show that manganese exposure negatively affects foraging behaviour in the honeybee, an economically important pollinator. Our findings indicate that in addition to its direct impact on human health, the common industrial contaminant manganese might also have indirect environmental and economical impacts via the modulation of neuronal and behavioural functions in economically important insects. PMID:25808001

  10. Forage polyphenol oxidase and ruminant livestock nutrition

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Michael R. F.

    2014-01-01

    Polyphenol oxidase (PPO) is predominately associated with the detrimental effect of browning fruit and vegetables, however, interest within PPO containing forage crops (crops to be fed to animals) has grown since the browning reaction was associated with reduced nitrogen (N) losses in silo and the rumen. The reduction in protein breakdown in silo of red clover (high PPO forage) increased the quality of protein, improving N-use efficiency [feed N into product N (e.g., Milk): NUE] when fed to ruminants. A further benefit of red clover silage feeding is a significant reduction in lipolysis (cleaving of glycerol-based lipid) in silo and an increase in the deposition of beneficial C18 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) in animal products, which has also been linked to PPO activity. PPOs protection of plant protein and glycerol based-PUFA in silo is related to the deactivation of plant proteases and lipases. This deactivation occurs through PPO catalyzing the conversion of diphenols to quinones which bind with cellular nucleophiles such as protein reforming a protein-bound phenol (PBP). If the protein is an enzyme (e.g., protease or lipase) the complexing denatures the enzyme. However, PPO is inactive in the anaerobic rumen and therefore any subsequent protection of plant protein and glycerol based-PUFA in the rumen must be as a result of events that occurred to the forage pre-ingestion. Reduced activity of plant proteases and lipases would have little effect on NUE and glycerol based-PUFA in the rumen due to the greater concentration of rumen microbial proteases and lipases. The mechanism for PPOs protection of plant protein in the rumen is a consequence of complexing plant protein, rather than protease deactivation per se. These complexed proteins reduce protein digestibility in the rumen and subsequently increase undegraded dietary protein flow to the small intestine. The mechanism for protecting glycerol-based PUFA has yet to be fully elucidated but may be associated

  11. Temporal effects of hunting on foraging behavior of an apex predator: Do bears forego foraging when risk is high?

    PubMed

    Hertel, Anne G; Zedrosser, Andreas; Mysterud, Atle; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Steyaert, Sam M J G; Swenson, Jon E

    2016-12-01

    Avoiding predators most often entails a food cost. For the Scandinavian brown bear (Ursus arctos), the hunting season coincides with the period of hyperphagia. Hunting mortality risk is not uniformly distributed throughout the day, but peaks in the early morning hours. As bears must increase mass for winter survival, they should be sensitive to temporal allocation of antipredator responses to periods of highest risk. We expected bears to reduce foraging activity at the expense of food intake in the morning hours when risk was high, but not in the afternoon, when risk was low. We used fine-scale GPS-derived activity patterns during the 2 weeks before and after the onset of the annual bear hunting season. At locations of probable foraging, we assessed abundance and sugar content, of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), the most important autumn food resource for bears in this area. Bears decreased their foraging activity in the morning hours of the hunting season. Likewise, they foraged less efficiently and on poorer quality berries in the morning. Neither of our foraging measures were affected by hunting in the afternoon foraging bout, indicating that bears did not allocate antipredator behavior to times of comparably lower risk. Bears effectively responded to variation in risk on the scale of hours. This entailed a measurable foraging cost. The additive effect of reduced foraging activity, reduced forage intake, and lower quality food may result in poorer body condition upon den entry and may ultimately reduce reproductive success.

  12. The impact of weather on kingbird foraging behavior

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, M.T.

    1987-01-01

    Foraging data on Eastern Kingbirds (Tyrannus tyrannus) were collected during the early breeding season in eastern Kansas to test the hypothesis that foraging rate and other aspects of foraging behavior vary with weather. Foraging characteristics of five additional kingbird species were also examined to assess Fitzpatrick's 1980 generalization that kingbirds (Tyrannus spp.) are aerial hawking specialists. In Eastern Kingbirds, total foraging rate was independent of air temperature, cloud cover, wind speed, and time of day, but the rate of aerial hawking varied directly with air temperature and inversely with cloud cover (both P < 0.05). Effects of the two variables were additive. The percentage of foraging movements that were aerial hawks also increased with temperature and declined with cloud cover, and hover-gleaning and perch-to-ground sallying were observed mainly during cloudy weather. Sally (i.e., foraging flight) distance correlated directly with perch height and air temperature, and large insects were captured almost exclusively in long upward or horizontal flights. I interpret these data to indicate that foraging behavior and the capture of large, flying insects depends on weather because of how it affects the activity of insect prey. Foraging data on kingbirds support Fitzpatrick's generalization, but the relative use of aerial hawking varies considerably among species. Resident Tropical Kingbirds (T. melancholicus) are the most specialized foragers, whereas the migrant and widely distributed Eastern Kingbird appears to be the most generalized. Certain habitats also appear to favor the use of particular foraging methods (e.g., outward striking in grasslands, and perch-to-ground sallying in drier, open habitats).

  13. [Optimized Spectral Indices Based Estimation of Forage Grass Biomass].

    PubMed

    An, Hai-bo; Li, Fei; Zhao, Meng-li; Liu, Ya-jun

    2015-11-01

    As an important indicator of forage production, aboveground biomass will directly illustrate the growth of forage grass. Therefore, Real-time monitoring biomass of forage grass play a crucial role in performing suitable grazing and management in artificial and natural grassland. However, traditional sampling and measuring are time-consuming and labor-intensive. Recently, development of hyperspectral remote sensing provides the feasibility in timely and nondestructive deriving biomass of forage grass. In the present study, the main objectives were to explore the robustness of published and optimized spectral indices in estimating biomass of forage grass in natural and artificial pasture. The natural pasture with four grazing density (control, light grazing, moderate grazing and high grazing) was designed in desert steppe, and different forage cultivars with different N rate were conducted in artificial forage fields in Inner Mongolia. The canopy reflectance and biomass in each plot were measured during critical stages. The result showed that, due to the influence in canopy structure and biomass, the canopy reflectance have a great difference in different type of forage grass. The best performing spectral index varied in different species of forage grass with different treatments (R² = 0.00-0.69). The predictive ability of spectral indices decreased under low biomass of desert steppe, while red band based spectral indices lost sensitivity under moderate-high biomass of forage maize. When band combinations of simple ratio and normalized difference spectral indices were optimized in combined datasets of natural and artificial grassland, optimized spectral indices significant increased predictive ability and the model between biomass and optimized spectral indices had the highest R² (R² = 0.72) compared to published spectral indices. Sensitive analysis further confirmed that the optimized index had the lowest noise equivalent and were the best performing index in

  14. Urban gardens promote bee foraging over natural habitats and plantations.

    PubMed

    Kaluza, Benjamin F; Wallace, Helen; Heard, Tim A; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Leonhardt, Sara D

    2016-03-01

    Increasing human land use for agriculture and housing leads to the loss of natural habitat and to widespread declines in wild bees. Bee foraging dynamics and fitness depend on the availability of resources in the surrounding landscape, but how precisely landscape related resource differences affect bee foraging patterns remains unclear. To investigate how landscape and its interaction with season and weather drive foraging and resource intake in social bees, we experimentally compared foraging activity, the allocation of foragers to different resources (pollen, nectar, and resin) and overall resource intake in the Australian stingless bee Tetragonula carbonaria (Apidae, Meliponini). Bee colonies were monitored in different seasons over two years. We compared foraging patterns and resource intake between the bees' natural habitat (forests) and two landscapes differently altered by humans (suburban gardens and agricultural macadamia plantations). We found foraging activity as well as pollen and nectar forager numbers to be highest in suburban gardens, intermediate in forests and low in plantations. Foraging patterns further differed between seasons, but seasonal variations strongly differed between landscapes. Sugar and pollen intake was low in plantations, but contrary with our predictions, it was even higher in gardens than in forests. In contrast, resin intake was similar across landscapes. Consequently, differences in resource availability between natural and altered landscapes strongly affect foraging patterns and thus resource intake in social bees. While agricultural monocultures largely reduce foraging success, suburban gardens can increase resource intake well above rates found in natural habitats of bees, indicating that human activities can both decrease and increase the availability of resources in a landscape and thus reduce or enhance bee fitness.

  15. 75 FR 68321 - Forage Genetics International; Supplemental Request for Partial Deregulation of Roundup Ready...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-11-05

    ... Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Forage Genetics International; Supplemental Request for... ``partial deregulation'' from Forage Genetics International for the planting, harvesting, and movement... submitted to the Agency from Forage Genetics International requesting a ``partial deregulation.''...

  16. Modeling ventilation time in forage tower silos.

    PubMed

    Bahloul, A; Chavez, M; Reggio, M; Roberge, B; Goyer, N

    2012-10-01

    The fermentation process in forage tower silos produces a significant amount of gases, which can easily reach dangerous concentrations and constitute a hazard for silo operators. To maintain a non-toxic environment, silo ventilation is applied. Literature reviews show that the fermentation gases reach high concentrations in the headspace of a silo and flow down the silo from the chute door to the feed room. In this article, a detailed parametric analysis of forced ventilation scenarios built via numerical simulation was performed. The methodology is based on the solution of the Navier-Stokes equations, coupled with transport equations for the gas concentrations. Validation was achieved by comparing the numerical results with experimental data obtained from a scale model silo using the tracer gas testing method for O2 and CO2 concentrations. Good agreement was found between the experimental and numerical results. The set of numerical simulations made it possible to establish a simple analytical model to predict the minimum time required to ventilate a silo to make it safe to enter. This ventilation time takes into account the headspace above the forage, the airflow rate, and the initial concentrations of O2 and CO2. The final analytical model was validated with available results from the literature.

  17. Threshold foraging behavior of baleen whales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Piatt, John F.; Methven, David A.

    1992-01-01

    We conducted hydroacoustic surveys for capelin Mallotus villosus in Witless Bay, Newfoundland, Canada, on 61 days during the summers of 1983 to 1985. On 32 of those days in whlch capelin surveys were conducted, we observed a total of 129 baleen whales - Including 93 humpback Megaptera novaeangliae, 31 minke Balaenoptera acutorostrata and 5 fin whales B. phvsalus. Although a few whales were observed when capelin schools were scarce, the majority (96%) of whales were observed when mean daily capelin densities exceeded 5 schools per linear km surveyed (range of means over 3 yr: 0.0 to 14.0 schools km-1). Plots of daily whale abundance (no. h-1 surveyed) vs daily capelin school density (mean no. schools km-1 surveyed) in each summer revealed that baleen whales have a threshold foraging response to capelin density. Thresholds were estimated using a simple itterative step-function model. Foraging thresholds of baleen whales (7.3, 5.0, and 5.8 schools km-1) varied between years in relation to the overall abundance of capelin schools in the study area during summer (means of 7.2, 3.3, and 5.3 schools km-1, respectively).

  18. 7 CFR 407.13 - Group risk plan for forage.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    .... Definitions Harvest. Removal of the forage from the field, and rotational grazing. NASS yield. The yield... method appropriate for forage, into a properly prepared seedbed. Rotational grazing. The defoliation of... smaller parcels and livestock are moved from one area to another, allowing a period of grazing followed...

  19. 7 CFR 407.13 - Group risk plan for forage.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    .... Definitions Harvest. Removal of the forage from the field, and rotational grazing. NASS yield. The yield... method appropriate for forage, into a properly prepared seedbed. Rotational grazing. The defoliation of... smaller parcels and livestock are moved from one area to another, allowing a period of grazing followed...

  20. 7 CFR 407.13 - Group risk plan for forage.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    .... Definitions Harvest. Removal of the forage from the field, and rotational grazing. NASS yield. The yield... method appropriate for forage, into a properly prepared seedbed. Rotational grazing. The defoliation of... smaller parcels and livestock are moved from one area to another, allowing a period of grazing followed...

  1. 7 CFR 407.13 - Group risk plan for forage.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    .... Definitions Harvest. Removal of the forage from the field, and rotational grazing. NASS yield. The yield... method appropriate for forage, into a properly prepared seedbed. Rotational grazing. The defoliation of... smaller parcels and livestock are moved from one area to another, allowing a period of grazing followed...

  2. Testing Optimal Foraging Theory Using Bird Predation on Goldenrod Galls

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yahnke, Christopher J.

    2006-01-01

    All animals must make choices regarding what foods to eat, where to eat, and how much time to spend feeding. Optimal foraging theory explains these behaviors in terms of costs and benefits. This laboratory exercise focuses on optimal foraging theory by investigating the winter feeding behavior of birds on the goldenrod gall fly by comparing…

  3. Group foraging by a stream minnow: shoals or aggregations?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Freeman, Mary C.; Grossman, G.D.

    1992-01-01

    The importance of social attraction in the formation of foraging groups was examined for a stream-dwelling cyprinid, the rosyside dace, Clinostomus funduloides. Dace arrivals and departures at natural foraging sites were monitored and tested for (1) tendency of dace to travel in groups, and (2) dependency of arrival and departure rates on group size. Dace usually entered and departed foraging sites independently of each other. Group size usually affected neither arrival rate nor departure probability. Thus, attraction among dace appeared weak; foraging groups most often resulted from dace aggregating in preferred foraging sites. The strongest evidence of social attraction was during autumn, when dace departure probability often decreased with increasing group size, possibly in response to increased threat of predation by a seasonally occurring predator. Dace also rarely avoided conspecifics, except when an aggressive individual defended a foraging site. Otherwise, there was little evidence of exploitative competition among dace for drifting prey or of foraging benefits in groups, because group size usually did not affect individual feeding rates. These results suggest that the benefits of group foraging demonstrated under laboratory conditions in other studies may not always apply to field conditions.

  4. Fall-grown oat forages: unique quality characteristics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For the dairy industry, the options for producing a late-summer emergency forage crop are limited, mostly because the growing season is relatively short. Recent research has shown that oats, seeded in late-summer, can provide an excellent source of emergency forage before winter. Furthermore, fall-g...

  5. Grazing management for fall-grown oat forages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For the dairy (or beef) industry, the options for producing a late-summer emergency forage crop are limited, mostly because the growing season in Wisconsin is relatively short. Recent research has shown that oat, seeded in late-summer, can provide an excellent source of emergency forage before winte...

  6. Seed storage effects on germination for two forage kochia cultivars

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The cultivar ‘Snowstorm’ forage kochia was released by the USDA-ARS in 2012. It is a synthetic cultivar selected for stature, forage production, and adaptation to semiarid environments. Similar to the earlier released (1984) ‘Immigrant’ cultivar it can increase rangeland productivity magnitudes when...

  7. Selection methods in forage breeding: a quantitative appraisal

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forage breeding can be extraordinarily complex because of the number of species, perenniality, mode of reproduction, mating system, and the genetic correlation for some traits evaluated in spaced plants vs. performance under cultivation. Aiming to compare eight forage breeding methods for direct sel...

  8. Animal Foraging and the Evolution of Goal-Directed Cognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hills, Thomas T.

    2006-01-01

    Foraging-and feeding-related behaviors across eumetazoans share similar molecular mechanisms, suggesting the early evolution of an optimal foraging behavior called area-restricted search (ARS), involving mechanisms of dopamine and glutamate in the modulation of behavioral focus. Similar mechanisms in the vertebrate basal ganglia control motor…

  9. Genetics of postweaning performance of beef cattle on forage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increases in the costs of feed grains have revived interest in increasing the use of forages and grazing in order to either market as forage-finished beef or to produce heavy calves that will finish on less grain. However, little is known about the interactions of animal genetics and grazing enviro...

  10. Comparative sucrose responsiveness in Apis mellifera and A. cerana foragers.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wenchao; Kuang, Haiou; Wang, Shanshan; Wang, Jie; Liu, Wei; Wu, Zhenhong; Tian, Yuanyuan; Huang, Zachary Y; Miao, Xiaoqing

    2013-01-01

    In the European honey bee, Apis mellifera, pollen foragers have a higher sucrose responsiveness than nectar foragers when tested using a proboscis extension response (PER) assay. In addition, Africanized honey bees have a higher sucrose responsiveness than European honey bees. Based on the biology of the Eastern honey bee, A. cerana, we hypothesized that A. cerana should also have a higher responsiveness to sucrose than A. mellifera. To test this hypothesis, we compared the sucrose thresholds of pollen foragers and nectar foragers in both A. cerana and A. mellifera in Fujian Province, China. Pollen foragers were more responsive to sucrose than nectar foragers in both species, consistent with previous studies. However, contrary to our hypothesis, A. mellifera was more responsive than A. cerana. We also demonstrated that this higher sucrose responsiveness in A. mellifera was not due to differences in the colony environment by co-fostering two species of bees in the same mixed-species colonies. Because A. mellifera foragers were more responsive to sucrose, we predicted that their nectar foragers should bring in less concentrated nectar compared to that of A. cerana. However, we found no differences between the two species. We conclude that A. cerana shows a different pattern in sucrose responsiveness from that of Africanized bees. There may be other mechanisms that enable A. cerana to perform well in areas with sparse nectar resources.

  11. Alfalfa and forage kochia improve nutritive value of semiarid rangelands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Improving forage quality on semiarid grazing lands of the western United States is challenging. This study compared the late summer forage quality parameters crude protein (CP) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) of 'Vavilov' Siberian wheatgrass (Agropyron fragile). 'Mustang' Altai wildrye (Leymus ang...

  12. Alfalfa forage and seed crop tolerance to flumioxazin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Weed control is an important component of producing high quality and high yielding alfalfa seed and forage. Flumioxazin was evaluated for weed control in alfalfa forage and seed production in 2007 and 2008 in Washington State. Flumioxazin applied at 0.14 and 0.28 kg ai/ha plus paraquat in February t...

  13. Promoting Interactive Learning: A Classroom Exercise to Explore Foraging Strategies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beaumont, Ellen S.; Rowe, Graham; Mikhaylov, Natalie S.

    2012-01-01

    We describe a classroom exercise to allow students to explore foraging strategies in higher vertebrates. The exercise includes an initial interactive session in which students act as predators and are guided through foraging simulations, and a subsequent student-led session where classmates are employed as experimental subjects. Students rated the…

  14. Effects of high selenium forages on reproduction in sheep

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    High Se-containing forages grow on seleniferous soils in many parts of world and can cause acute or chronic selenosis in livestock. Anecdotal reports of decreased reproductive rates in livestock grazing seleniferous forages have been reported and it has been speculated that reproductive failure is o...

  15. An Optimal Foraging Approach to Information Seeking and Use.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sandstrom, Pamela Effrein

    1994-01-01

    Explores optimal foraging theory, derived from evolutionary ecology, for its potential to clarify and operationalize studies of scholarly communication. Metaphorical parallels between subsistence foragers and scholarly information seekers are drawn. Hypotheses to test the models are recommended. The place of ethnographic and bibliometric…

  16. Optimal Lévy-flight foraging in a finite landscape.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Kun; Jurdak, Raja; Liu, Jiajun; Westcott, David; Kusy, Branislav; Parry, Hazel; Sommer, Philipp; McKeown, Adam

    2015-03-06

    We present a simple model to study Lévy-flight foraging with a power-law step-size distribution [P(l) ∞ l-μ] in a finite landscape with countable targets. We find that different optimal foraging strategies characterized by a wide range of power-law exponent μopt, from ballistic motion (μopt → 1) to Lévy flight (1 < μopt < 3) to Brownian motion (μopt ≥ 3), may arise in adaptation to the interplay between the termination of foraging, which is regulated by the number of foraging steps, and the environmental context of the landscape, namely the landscape size and number of targets. We further demonstrate that stochastic returning can be another significant factor that affects the foraging efficiency and optimality of foraging strategy. Our study provides a new perspective on Lévy-flight foraging, opens new avenues for investigating the interaction between foraging dynamics and the environment and offers a realistic framework for analysing animal movement patterns from empirical data.

  17. Children's Play and Culture Learning in an Egalitarian Foraging Society

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyette, Adam H.

    2016-01-01

    Few systematic studies of play in foragers exist despite their significance for understanding the breadth of contexts for human development and the ontogeny of cultural learning. Forager societies lack complex social hierarchies, avenues for prestige or wealth accumulation, and formal educational institutions, and thereby represent a contrast to…

  18. Mapping of wood stork foraging habitat with satellite data

    SciTech Connect

    Jensen, J.R.; Coulter, M.; Mackey, H.E. Jr.; Hodgson, M.E.

    1985-01-01

    Potential foraging sites for an endangered species, the wood stork, were identified using Landsat thematic mapper data for a section of north central Georgia and the Savannah River floodplain swamp in South Carolina. This was accomplished using innovative clustering techniques applied to known wood stork foraging sites around the Birdsville Colony in Georgia. The signatures for known sites were then geographically extended to a 1520-square-kilometer region surrounding the Birdsville Colony. Thematic maps were produced and foraging area acreages computed providing a regional assessment of existing and potential wood stork foraging sites. Approximately 1744 hectarea of potential shallow water and macrophyte foraging habitat were identified in the area surroundings the Birdsville Colony. 14 refs., 3 figs.

  19. Linking foraging decisions to residential yard bird composition.

    PubMed

    Lerman, Susannah B; Warren, Paige S; Gan, Hilary; Shochat, Eyal

    2012-01-01

    Urban bird communities have higher densities but lower diversity compared with wildlands. However, recent studies show that residential urban yards with native plantings have higher native bird diversity compared with yards with exotic vegetation. Here we tested whether landscape designs also affect bird foraging behavior. We estimated foraging decisions by measuring the giving-up densities (GUD; amount of food resources remaining when the final forager quits foraging on an artificial food patch, i.e seed trays) in residential yards in Phoenix, AZ, USA. We assessed how two yard designs (mesic: lush, exotic vegetation; xeric: drought-tolerant and native vegetation) differed in foraging costs. Further, we developed a statistical model to calculate GUDs for every species visiting the seed tray. Birds foraging in mesic yards depleted seed trays to a lower level (i.e. had lower GUDs) compared to birds foraging in xeric yards. After accounting for bird densities, the lower GUDs in mesic yards appeared largely driven by invasive and synanthropic species. Furthermore, behavioral responses of individual species were affected by yard design. Species visiting trays in both yard designs had lower GUDs in mesic yards. Differences in resource abundance (i.e., alternative resources more abundant and of higher quality in xeric yards) contributed to our results, while predation costs associated with foraging did not. By enhancing the GUD, a common method for assessing the costs associated with foraging, our statistical model provided insights into how individual species and bird densities influenced the GUD. These differences we found in foraging behavior were indicative of differences in habitat quality, and thus our study lends additional support for native landscapes to help reverse the loss of urban bird diversity.

  20. Field energetics and foraging mode of Kalahari lacertid lizards

    SciTech Connect

    Nagy, K.A.; Huey, R.B.; Bennett, A.F.

    1984-04-01

    The authors examined the energetic costs associated with foraging mode in the widely foraging lizard Eremias lugubris (mean mass 3.83 g) and the sit-and-wait lizard Eremias lineoocellata (3.27 g). These lizards are broadly sympatric in the Kalahari desert. The widely foraging species had significantly higher field metabolic rates (800 vs. 544 J/d, as measured with doubly labeled water), feeding rates (metabolizable energy of 1165 vs. 739 J/d), production rates (365 vs. 195 J/d) and water influx rates (0.285 vs. 0.156 mL/d). Measurements were made before the reproductive season began; there were no significant differences in these measures between sexes within either species. Resting metabolic rates (measured as O/sub 2/ consumed) were similar at 37/sup 0/C (0.240 vs. 0.252 mL g/sup -1/ H/sup -1/) and 26/sup 0/ (0.094 vs. 0.103 mL g/sup -1/ h/sup -1/), the field active and nocturnal burrow temperatures respectively, of both species. Field metabolic rates, on a 24-h basis, were 3.1 x resting in E. lugubris and 2.2 x resting in E. lineoocellata. Energy expenditures during the activity period were 12.0 x resting in the wide forager and 2.8 x resting in the sit-and-wait predator. Foraging efficiency (metabolizable energy gained while foraging/total energy spent while foraging) was higher in the wide forager (2.0 than in the sit-and-wait predator. The wide forager grew nearly twice as fast as did the sit-and-wait predator during this study. On an annual basis, variation in food availability or differences in predation rate may alter the relative fitness of these foraging modes.

  1. Effects of methylmercury and spatial complexity on foraging behavior and foraging efficiency in juvenile white ibises (Eudocimus albus).

    PubMed

    Adams, Evan M; Frederick, Peter C

    2008-08-01

    Methylmercury is a globally distributed neurotoxin, endocrine disruptor, and teratogen, the effects of which on wildlife at environmentally relevant levels are largely unknown. In birds, foraging efficiency and learning may be sensitive endpoints for sublethal methylmercury toxicity, and these endpoints also may be biologically relevant at the population level. In the present study, groups of wild-caught, prefledgling white ibises (Eudocimus albus) were raised in a free-flight, open-air aviary on diets that approximated the measured range of methylmercury exposure in the Everglades ecosystem (0, 0.05, 0.1, and 0.3 mg/kg/d). The effect of methylmercury exposure on group foraging efficiency was examined by allowing birds to forage on 200 fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) in artificial ponds for 15 min by straining the arenas' contents through a seine net and counting all remaining prey. Additionally, we varied the difficulty of foraging by these tactile feeding birds by adding multiple levels of structural complexity (e.g., increased vegetation and prey refugia) to the pond. Structural complexity affected both foraging efficiency and the rate of increase in efficiency over time (improvement). Methylmercury exposure affected foraging efficiency (p = 0.03). It did not affect foraging improvement in the face of increasingly challenging environments, however, and the dose-response relationship was nonlinear (e.g., the control and high-exposure groups were the least efficient foragers). Evidence for an effect of methylmercury on foraging efficiency therefore was inconclusive because of unpredicted results and no interaction with time or habitat complexity. These data suggest a nonlinear dose-response relationship at low levels of methylmercury exposure; future research is needed to verify this hypothesis. This appears to be the first experimental demonstration of the effects of habitat complexity on foraging efficiency in long-legged wading birds.

  2. Space use by foragers consuming renewable resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abramson, Guillermo; Kuperman, Marcelo N.; Morales, Juan M.; Miller, Joel C.

    2014-05-01

    We study a simple model of a forager as a walk that modifies a relaxing substrate. Within it simplicity, this provides an insight on a number of relevant and non-intuitive facts. Even without memory of the good places to feed and no explicit cost of moving, we observe the emergence of a finite home range. We characterize the walks and the use of resources in several statistical ways, involving the behavior of the average used fraction of the system, the length of the cycles followed by the walkers, and the frequency of visits to plants. Preliminary results on population effects are explored by means of a system of two non directly interacting animals. Properties of the overlap of home ranges show the existence of a set of parameters that provides the best utilization of the shared resource.

  3. A neural coding scheme reproducing foraging trajectories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutiérrez, Esther D.; Cabrera, Juan Luis

    2015-12-01

    The movement of many animals may follow Lévy patterns. The underlying generating neuronal dynamics of such a behavior is unknown. In this paper we show that a novel discovery of multifractality in winnerless competition (WLC) systems reveals a potential encoding mechanism that is translatable into two dimensional superdiffusive Lévy movements. The validity of our approach is tested on a conductance based neuronal model showing WLC and through the extraction of Lévy flights inducing fractals from recordings of rat hippocampus during open field foraging. Further insights are gained analyzing mice motor cortex neurons and non motor cell signals. The proposed mechanism provides a plausible explanation for the neuro-dynamical fundamentals of spatial searching patterns observed in animals (including humans) and illustrates an until now unknown way to encode information in neuronal temporal series.

  4. Individual foraging strategies of kleptoparasitic Roseate Terns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shealer, D.A.; Spendelow, J.A.

    2002-01-01

    We describe the kleptoparasitic behavior of ten adult Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii) breeding at a colony at Falkner Island, Connecticut, USA between 1995 and 1998. These birds were considered habitual kleptoparasites because they stole fish repeatedly from other terns in every year they were observed at the site. No other breeding individuals were observed attempting to steal fish during our study. Kleptoparasitic techniques included aerial piracy, ground-based attacks, and deceptive behavior, but with one exception, each individual used one method exclusively. Success varied among individuals, but overall, kleptoparasites obtained prey at a significantly higher rate than did 'honest' foragers. Eight of the ten kleptoparasites were females, suggesting a sex-biased tendency in Roseate Terns to engage in this behavior. Our observations indicate that kleptoparasitism by Roseate Terns is a specialized behavior, used regularly by only a few individuals at this breeding colony. This conclusion is consistent with a recent theoretical prediction regarding kleptoparasitism in birds.

  5. A neural coding scheme reproducing foraging trajectories

    PubMed Central

    Gutiérrez, Esther D.; Cabrera, Juan Luis

    2015-01-01

    The movement of many animals may follow Lévy patterns. The underlying generating neuronal dynamics of such a behavior is unknown. In this paper we show that a novel discovery of multifractality in winnerless competition (WLC) systems reveals a potential encoding mechanism that is translatable into two dimensional superdiffusive Lévy movements. The validity of our approach is tested on a conductance based neuronal model showing WLC and through the extraction of Lévy flights inducing fractals from recordings of rat hippocampus during open field foraging. Further insights are gained analyzing mice motor cortex neurons and non motor cell signals. The proposed mechanism provides a plausible explanation for the neuro-dynamical fundamentals of spatial searching patterns observed in animals (including humans) and illustrates an until now unknown way to encode information in neuronal temporal series. PMID:26648311

  6. Stature in Holocene foragers of North India.

    PubMed

    Lukacs, John R; Pal, J N; Nelson, Greg C

    2014-03-01

    The Ganga Plain of North India provides an archaeological and skeletal record of semi-nomadic Holocene foragers in association with an aceramic Mesolithic culture. Prior estimates of stature for Mesolithic Lake Cultures (MLC) used inappropriate equations from an American White reference group and need revision. Attention is given to intralimb body proportions and geo-climatic provenance of MLC series in considering the most suitable reference population. Regression equations from ancient Egyptians are used in reconstructing stature for MLC skeletal series from Damdama (DDM), Mahadaha (MDH), and Sarai Nahar Rai (SNR). Mean stature is estimated at between 174 (MDH) and 178 cm (DDM and SNR) for males, and between 163 cm (MDH) and 179 cm (SNR) for females. Stature estimates based on ancient Egyptian equations are significantly shorter (from 3.5 to 7.1 cm shorter in males; from 3.2 to 7.5 cm shorter in females) than estimates using the American White reference group. Revised stature estimates from tibia length and from femur + tibia more accurately estimate MLC stature for two reasons: a) these elements are highly correlated with stature and have lower standard estimates of error, and b) uncertainty regarding methods of measuring tibia length is avoided. When compared with Holocene samples of native Americans and Mesolithic Europeans, MLC series from North India are tall. This aspect of their biological variation confirms earlier assessments and results from the synergistic influence of balanced nutrition from broad-spectrum foraging, body-proportions adapted to a seasonally hot and arid climate, and the functional demands of a mobile, semi-nomadic life-style.

  7. Crop scents affect the occurrence of trophallaxis among forager honeybees.

    PubMed

    Gil, M; Farina, W M

    2003-05-01

    Previous evidence indicates that the recognition of the nectar delivered by forager honeybees within the colony may have been a primitive method of communication on food resources. Thus, the association between scent and reward that nectar foragers establish while they collect on a given flower species should be retrieved during trophallaxis, i.e., the transfer of liquid food by mouth, and, accordingly, foraging experience could affect the occurrence of these interactions inside the nest. We used experimental arenas to analyze how crop scents carried by donor bees affect trophallaxis among foragers, i.e., donors and receivers, which differ in their foraging experience. Results showed that whenever the foragers had collected unscented sugar solution from a feeder the presence of scents in the solution carried by donors did not affect the occurrence of trophallaxis nor its dynamics. In contrast, whenever the foragers had previous olfactory information, new scents present in the crop of the donors negatively affected the occurrence, but not the dynamics of trophallaxis. Thus, the association learned at the food source seems to be retrieved during trophallaxis, and it is possible that known scents present in the mouthparts of nest-mates may operate as a triggering stimulus to elicit trophallactic behavior within the hive.

  8. Production and transcriptional regulation of proanthocyanidin biosynthesis in forage legumes.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Meiliang; Wei, Li; Sun, Zhanmin; Gao, Lihua; Meng, Yu; Tang, Yixiong; Wu, Yanmin

    2015-05-01

    Proanthocyanidins (PA), also known as condensed tannins, contribute to important forage legumes traits including disease resistance and forage quality. PA in forage plants has both positive and negative effects on feed digestibility and animal performance. The analytical methods and their applicability in measuring the contents of PA in forage plants are essential to studies on their nutritional effects. In spite of important breakthroughs in our understanding of the PA biosynthesis, important questions still remain to be answered such as the PA polymerization and transport. Recent advances in the understanding of transcription factor-mediated gene regulation mechanisms in anthocyanin and PA biosynthetic pathway in model plants suggest new approaches for the metabolic engineering of PA in forage plants. The present review will attempt to present the state-of-the-art of research in these areas and provide an update on the production and metabolic engineering of PA in forage plants. We hope that this will contribute to a better understanding of the ways in which PA production to manipulate the content of PA for beneficial effects in forage plants.

  9. Foraging behavior delays mechanically-stimulated escape responses in fish.

    PubMed

    Bohórquez-Herrera, Jimena; Kawano, Sandy M; Domenici, Paolo

    2013-11-01

    Foraging and the evasion of predators are fundamental for the survival of organisms, but they impose contrasting demands that can influence performance in each behavior. Previous studies suggested that foraging organisms may experience decreased vigilance to attacks by predators; however, little is known about the effect of foraging on escape performance with respect to the kinematics and the timing of the response. This study tested the hypothesis that engaging in foraging activities affected escape performance by comparing fast-start escape responses of silver-spotted sculpins Blepsias cirrhosus under three conditions: (1) control (no foraging involved), (2) while targeting prey, and (3) immediately after capture of prey. Escape response variables (non-locomotor and locomotor) were analyzed from high-speed videos. Responsiveness was lower immediately after capturing a prey item compared with the other two treatments, and latency of performance was higher in the control treatment than in the other two. Locomotor variables such as maximum speed, maximum acceleration, and turning rates did not show statistical differences among the three groups. Our results demonstrate that foraging can negatively affect two fundamental components of the escape response: (1) responsiveness and (2) latency of escape, suggesting that engaging in foraging may decrease an individual's ability to successfully evade predators.

  10. Foraging niche segregation in Malaysian babblers (Family: Timaliidae)

    PubMed Central

    Mansor, Mohammad Saiful; Ramli, Rosli

    2017-01-01

    Tropical rainforests are considered as hotspots for bird diversity, yet little is known about the system that upholds the coexistence of species. Differences in body size that are associated with foraging strategies and spatial distribution are believed to promote the coexistence of closely related species by reducing competition. However, the fact that many babbler species do not differ significantly in their morphology has challenged this view. We studied the foraging ecology of nine sympatric babbler species (i.e., Pellorneum capistratum, P. bicolor, P. malaccense, Malacopteron cinereum, M. magnum, Stachyris nigriceps, S. nigricollis, S. maculata, and Cyanoderma erythropterum) in the Krau Wildlife Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia. We investigated; i) how these babblers forage in the wild and use vegetation to obtain food, and ii) how these trophically similar species differ in spatial distribution and foraging tactics. Results indicated that most babblers foraged predominantly on aerial leaf litter and used gleaning manoeuvre in intermediate-density foliage but exhibited wide ranges of vertical strata usage, thus reducing interspecific competition. The principal component analysis indicated that two components, i.e., foraging height and substrate are important as mechanisms to allow the coexistence of sympatric babblers. The present findings revealed that these bird species have unique foraging niches that are distinct from each other, and this may apply to other insectivorous birds inhabiting tropical forests. This suggests that niche separation does occur among coexisting birds, thus following Gause’ law of competitive exclusion, which states two species occupying the same niche will not stably coexist. PMID:28253284

  11. Personality, foraging and fitness consequences in a long lived seabird.

    PubMed

    Patrick, Samantha C; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2014-01-01

    While personality differences in animals are defined as consistent behavioural variation between individuals, the widely studied field of foraging specialisation in marine vertebrates has rarely been addressed within this framework. However there is much overlap between the two fields, both aiming to measure the causes and consequences of consistent individual behaviour. Here for the first time we use both a classic measure of personality, the response to a novel object, and an estimate of foraging strategy, derived from GPS data, to examine individual personality differences in black browed albatross and their consequences for fitness. First, we examine the repeatability of personality scores and link these to variation in foraging habitat. Bolder individuals forage nearer the colony, in shallower regions, whereas shyer birds travel further from the colony, and fed in deeper oceanic waters. Interestingly, neither personality score predicted a bird's overlap with fisheries. Second, we show that both personality scores are correlated with fitness consequences, dependent on sex and year quality. Our data suggest that shyer males and bolder females have higher fitness, but the strength of this relationship depends on year quality. Females who forage further from the colony have higher breeding success in poor quality years, whereas males foraging close to the colony always have higher fitness. Together these results highlight the potential importance of personality variation in seabirds and that the fitness consequences of boldness and foraging strategy may be highly sex dependent.

  12. Thermal constraints on foraging of tropical canopy ants.

    PubMed

    Spicer, Michelle Elise; Stark, Alyssa Y; Adams, Benjamin J; Kneale, Riley; Kaspari, Michael; Yanoviak, Stephen P

    2017-04-01

    Small cursorial ectotherms risk overheating when foraging in the tropical forest canopy, where the surfaces of unshaded tree branches commonly exceed 50 °C. We quantified the heating and subsequent cooling rates of 11 common canopy ant species from Panama and tested the hypothesis that ant workers stop foraging at temperatures consistent with the prevention of overheating. We created hot experimental "sunflecks" on existing foraging trails of four ant species from different clades and spanning a broad range of body size, heating rate, and critical thermal maxima (CTmax). Different ant species exhibited very different heating rates in the lab, and these differences did not follow trends predicted by body size alone. Experiments with ant models showed that heating rates are strongly affected by color in addition to body size. Foraging workers of all species showed strong responses to heating and consistently abandoned focal sites between 36 and 44 °C. Atta colombica and Azteca trigona workers resumed foraging shortly after heat was removed, but Cephalotes atratus and Dolichoderus bispinosus workers continued to avoid the heated patch even after >5 min of cooling. Large foraging ants (C. atratus) responded slowly to developing thermal extremes, whereas small ants (A. trigona) evacuated sunflecks relatively quickly, and at lower estimated body temperatures than when revisiting previously heated patches. The results of this study provide the first field-based insight into how foraging ants respond behaviorally to the heterogeneous thermal landscape of the tropical forest canopy.

  13. Individual foraging strategies reveal niche overlap between endangered galapagos pinnipeds.

    PubMed

    Villegas-Amtmann, Stella; Jeglinski, Jana W E; Costa, Daniel P; Robinson, Patrick W; Trillmich, Fritz

    2013-01-01

    Most competition studies between species are conducted from a population-level approach. Few studies have examined inter-specific competition in conjunction with intra-specific competition, with an individual-based approach. To our knowledge, none has been conducted on marine top predators. Sympatric Galapagos fur seals (Arctocephalus galapagoensis) and sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) share similar geographic habitats and potentially compete. We studied their foraging niche overlap at Cabo Douglas, Fernandina Island from simultaneously collected dive and movement data to examine spatial and temporal inter- and intra-specific competition. Sea lions exhibited 3 foraging strategies (shallow, intermediate and deep) indicating intra-specific competition. Fur seals exhibited one foraging strategy, diving predominantly at night, between 0-80 m depth and mostly at 19-22 h. Most sea lion dives also occurred at night (63%), between 0-40 m, within fur seals' diving depth range. 34% of sea lions night dives occurred at 19-22 h, when fur seals dived the most, but most of them occurred at dawn and dusk, when fur seals exhibited the least amount of dives. Fur seals and sea lions foraging behavior overlapped at 19 and 21 h between 0-30 m depths. Sea lions from the deep diving strategy exhibited the greatest foraging overlap with fur seals, in time (19 h), depth during overlapping time (21-24 m), and foraging range (37.7%). Fur seals foraging range was larger. Cabo Douglas northwest coastal area, region of highest diving density, is a foraging "hot spot" for both species. Fur seals and sea lions foraging niche overlap occurred, but segregation also occurred; fur seals primarily dived at night, while sea lions exhibited night and day diving. Both species exploited depths and areas exclusive to their species. Niche breadth generally increases with environmental uncertainty and decreased productivity. Potential competition between these species could be greater during warmer periods

  14. The Organization of Foraging in the Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta

    PubMed Central

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2011-01-01

    Although natural selection in ants acts most strongly at the colony, or superorganismal level, foraging patterns have rarely been studied at that level, focusing instead on the behavior of individual foragers or groups of foragers. The experiments and observations in this paper reveal in broad strokes how colonies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), allocate their available labor to foraging, how they disperse that force within their territory, and how this force changes with colony size, season and worker age. Territory area is positively related to colony size and the number of foragers, more so during the spring than fall. Changes of colony size and territory area are driven by seasonal variation of sexual and worker production, which in turn drive seasonal variation of worker age-distribution. During spring sexual production, colonies shrink because worker production falls below replacement. This loss is proportional to colony size, causing forager density in the spring to be negatively related to colony and territory size. In the fall, colonies emphasize worker production, bringing colony size back up. However, because smaller colonies curtailed spring worker production less than larger ones, their fall forager populations are proportionally greater, causing them to gain territory at the expense of large colonies. Much variation of territory area remains unexplained and can probably be attributed to pressure from neighboring colonies. Boundaries between territories are characterized by “no ants' zones” mostly devoid of fire ants. The forager population can be divided into a younger group of recruitable workers that wait for scouts to activate them to help retrieve large food finds. About one-third of the recruits wait near openings in the foraging tunnels that underlie the entire territory, while two-thirds wait in the nest. Recruitment to food is initially very rapid and local from the foraging tunnels, while sustained

  15. The organization of foraging in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta.

    PubMed

    Tschinkel, Walter R

    2011-01-01

    Although natural selection in ants acts most strongly at the colony, or superorganismal level, foraging patterns have rarely been studied at that level, focusing instead on the behavior of individual foragers or groups of foragers. The experiments and observations in this paper reveal in broad strokes how colonies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), allocate their available labor to foraging, how they disperse that force within their territory, and how this force changes with colony size, season and worker age. Territory area is positively related to colony size and the number of foragers, more so during the spring than fall. Changes of colony size and territory area are driven by seasonal variation of sexual and worker production, which in turn drive seasonal variation of worker age-distribution. During spring sexual production, colonies shrink because worker production falls below replacement. This loss is proportional to colony size, causing forager density in the spring to be negatively related to colony and territory size. In the fall, colonies emphasize worker production, bringing colony size back up. However, because smaller colonies curtailed spring worker production less than larger ones, their fall forager populations are proportionally greater, causing them to gain territory at the expense of large colonies. Much variation of territory area remains unexplained and can probably be attributed to pressure from neighboring colonies. Boundaries between territories are characterized by "no ants' zones" mostly devoid of fire ants. The forager population can be divided into a younger group of recruitable workers that wait for scouts to activate them to help retrieve large food finds. About one-third of the recruits wait near openings in the foraging tunnels that underlie the entire territory, while two-thirds wait in the nest. Recruitment to food is initially very rapid and local from the foraging tunnels, while sustained

  16. Optimal foraging by birds: feeder-based experiments for secondary and post-secondary students

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Optimal foraging theory attempts to explain the foraging patterns observed in animals, including their choice of particular food items and foraging locations. Here, we describe three exercises designed to test hypotheses about food choice and foraging habitat preference using bird feeders. These e...

  17. Winter foraging behavior of elk in the shrub-steppe of Washington

    SciTech Connect

    McCorquodale, S.M. )

    1993-01-01

    Numerous models of ungulate foraging behavior have been published, but data on foraging behavior for wild North American ungulates relevant to model testing are scarce. I studied the detailed foraging behavior of elk from autumn through early spring in Washington's shrub-steppe using focal animal sampling and collected corollary data on elk diets, forage quality, and home ranges. I tested the hypotheses that foraging effort is proportional to energetic payoffs determined by the quality and abundance of various forages, and elk home-range size reflects relative foraging movements (i.e., macro and micro movements are related). Elk were mobile foragers during autumn and spring and were relatively sedentary during mid-winter. High mobility was associated with low diet diversity and generally with reduced forage harvesting rates. This mobile foraging occurred during periods of higher quality forage availability. Thus, mobile foraging appeared to reflect increased effort when energetic payoffs of selective foraging were enhanced. Degree of dietary specialization was limited by the relative abundance of preferred forages, being greater when grass quality was high, and less when forb quality was high. Indices of elk movement while foraging were also positively related to home-range size and distance between relocations of radio-collared elk. These data are generally consistent with ungulate foraging model predictions. 34 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  18. Quantifying rhizosphere respiration for two cool-season perennial forages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding the regulation of ecosystem carbon dioxide flux from forage production systems requires knowledge of component fluxes, including photosynthetic uptake and respiratory loss. Experimental separation of soil respiration into its heterotrophic (free-living soil organisms) and rhizosphere c...

  19. Competition in foraging flocks of migrating semipalmated sandpipers.

    PubMed

    Beauchamp, Guy

    2007-11-01

    I examined the effect of competitor density on foraging success in staging semipalmated sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) foraging on a burrowing amphipod (Corophium volutator) in each of two study years. Little is known about the effect of competitor density when predation attempts disturb prey, causing a temporary decrease in food availability. Controlling for Corophium density and other potentially confounding factors such as temperature, pecking rate and capture rate increased linearly with sandpiper density. Success rate, the ratio of captures to pecks, was not influenced by sandpiper density. The effect of sandpiper density was similar in each of the two study years and was documented early and late in the low tide period. The increase in foraging rate is argued to be a response to increased competition for rapidly depleting prey at the temporal scale of exploitation by a flock. Potential fitness costs associated with higher foraging costs may include decreased ability to distinguish between the profitability of different prey and reduced vigilance against predators.

  20. Optimal foraging: the difficulty of exploiting different feeding strategies simultaneously.

    PubMed

    Persson, Lennart

    1985-10-01

    The foraging efficiency of a visually feeding fish, perch (Perca fluviatilis) was studied on two prey species (Daphnia magna and Chaoborus obscuripus) presented either separately or combined. It is shown that when both prey species are present, the foraging efficiency of the predator is reduced. This is due to the predator's inability to simultaneously cope with prey species with different anti-predatory behaviour. In the mixed-meal experiment the predator captured both prey species in equal proportions in disagreement with optimal foraging models assuming that handling time and encounter rate for a prey species are independent of other prey species. The results are, however, in agreement with optimal foraging models assuming that handling time and encounter rate are influenced by short time learning.

  1. Traffic noise reduces foraging efficiency in wild owls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senzaki, Masayuki; Yamaura, Yuichi; Francis, Clinton D.; Nakamura, Futoshi

    2016-08-01

    Anthropogenic noise has been increasing globally. Laboratory experiments suggest that noise disrupts foraging behavior across a range of species, but to reveal the full impacts of noise, we must examine the impacts of noise on foraging behavior among species in the wild. Owls are widespread nocturnal top predators and use prey rustling sounds for localizing prey when hunting. We conducted field experiments to examine the effect of traffic noise on owls’ ability to detect prey. Results suggest that foraging efficiency declines with increasing traffic noise levels due to acoustic masking and/or distraction and aversion to traffic noise. Moreover, we estimate that effects of traffic noise on owls’ ability to detect prey reach >120 m from a road, which is larger than the distance estimated from captive studies with bats. Our study provides the first evidence that noise reduces foraging efficiency in wild animals, and highlights the possible pervasive impacts of noise.

  2. Traffic noise reduces foraging efficiency in wild owls

    PubMed Central

    Senzaki, Masayuki; Yamaura, Yuichi; Francis, Clinton D.; Nakamura, Futoshi

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic noise has been increasing globally. Laboratory experiments suggest that noise disrupts foraging behavior across a range of species, but to reveal the full impacts of noise, we must examine the impacts of noise on foraging behavior among species in the wild. Owls are widespread nocturnal top predators and use prey rustling sounds for localizing prey when hunting. We conducted field experiments to examine the effect of traffic noise on owls’ ability to detect prey. Results suggest that foraging efficiency declines with increasing traffic noise levels due to acoustic masking and/or distraction and aversion to traffic noise. Moreover, we estimate that effects of traffic noise on owls’ ability to detect prey reach >120 m from a road, which is larger than the distance estimated from captive studies with bats. Our study provides the first evidence that noise reduces foraging efficiency in wild animals, and highlights the possible pervasive impacts of noise. PMID:27537709

  3. Do naive juvenile seabirds forage differently from adults?

    PubMed

    Riotte-Lambert, Louise; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2013-10-07

    Foraging skills of young individuals are assumed to be inferior to those of adults. The reduced efficiency of naive individuals may be the primary cause of the high juvenile mortality and explain the deferment of maturity in long-lived species. However, the study of juvenile and immature foraging behaviour has been limited so far. We used satellite telemetry to compare the foraging movements of juveniles, immatures and breeding adult wandering albatrosses Diomedea exulans, a species where foraging success is positively influenced by the distance covered daily. We showed that juveniles are able to use favourable winds as soon as the first month of independence, but cover shorter distances daily and spend more time sitting on water than adults during the first two months after fledging. These reduced movement capacities do not seem to be the cause of higher juvenile mortality. Moreover, juveniles almost never restrict their movement to specific areas, as adults and immatures frequently do over shelf edges or oceanic zones, which suggest that the location of appropriate areas is learned through experience. Immatures and adults have equivalent movement capacities, but when they are central place foragers, i.e. when adults breed or immatures come to the colony to display and pair, immatures make shorter trips than adults. The long duration of immaturity in this species seems to be related to a long period of learning to integrate the foraging constraints associated with reproduction and central place foraging. Our results indicate that foraging behaviour of young albatrosses is partly innate and partly learned progressively over immaturity. The first months of learning appear critical in terms of survival, whereas the long period of immaturity is necessary for young birds to attain the skills necessary for efficient breeding without fitness costs.

  4. Deep-diving foraging behaviour of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus).

    PubMed

    Watwood, Stephanie L; Miller, Patrick J O; Johnson, Mark; Madsen, Peter T; Tyack, Peter L

    2006-05-01

    1. Digital tags were used to describe diving and vocal behaviour of sperm whales during 198 complete and partial foraging dives made by 37 individual sperm whales in the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Ligurian Sea. 2. The maximum depth of dive averaged by individual differed across the three regions and was 985 m (SD = 124.3), 644 m (123.4) and 827 m (60.3), respectively. An average dive cycle consisted of a 45 min (6.3) dive with a 9 min (3.0) surface interval, with no significant differences among regions. On average, whales spent greater than 72% of their time in foraging dive cycles. 3. Whales produced regular clicks for 81% (4.1) of a dive and 64% (14.6) of the descent phase. The occurrence of buzz vocalizations (also called 'creaks') as an indicator of the foraging phase of a dive showed no difference in mean prey capture attempts per dive between regions [18 buzzes/dive (7.6)]. Sperm whales descended a mean of 392 m (144) from the start of regular clicking to the first buzz, which supports the hypothesis that regular clicks function as a long-range biosonar. 4. There were no significant differences in the duration of the foraging phase [28 min (6.0)] or percentage of the dive duration in the foraging phase [62% (7.3)] between the three regions, with an overall average proportion of time spent actively encountering prey during dive cycles of 0.53 (0.05). Whales maintained their time in the foraging phase by decreasing transit time for deeper foraging dives. 5. Similarity in foraging behaviour in the three regions and high diving efficiencies suggest that the success of sperm whales as mesopelagic predators is due in part to long-range echolocation of deep prey patches, efficient locomotion and a large aerobic capacity during diving.

  5. Food availability and foraging near human developments by black bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Merkle, Jerod A.; Robinson, Hugh S.; Krausman, Paul R.; Alaback, Paul B.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the relationship between foraging ecology and the presence of human-dominated landscapes is important, particularly for American black bears (Ursus americanus), which sometimes move between wildlands and urban areas to forage. The food-related factors influencing this movement have not been explored, but can be important for understanding the benefits and costs to black bear foraging behavior and the fundamental origins of bear conflicts. We tested whether the scarcity of wildland foods or the availability of urban foods can explain when black bears forage near houses, examined the extent to which male bears use urban areas in comparison to females, and identified the most important food items influencing bear movement into urban areas. We monitored 16 collared black bears in and around Missoula, Montana, during 2009 and 2010, while quantifying the rate of change in green vegetation and the availability of 5 native berry-producing species outside the urban area, the rate of change in green vegetation, and the availability of apples and garbage inside the urban area. We used parametric time-to-event models in which an event was a bear location collected within 100 m of a house. We also visited feeding sites located near houses and quantified food items bears had eaten. The probability of a bear being located near a house was 1.6 times higher for males, and increased during apple season and the urban green-up. Fruit trees accounted for most of the forage items at urban feeding sites (49%), whereas wildland foods composed <10%. Black bears foraged on human foods near houses even when wildland foods were available, suggesting that the absence of wildland foods may not influence the probability of bears foraging near houses. Additionally, other attractants, in this case fruit trees, appear to be more important than the availability of garbage in influencing when bears forage near houses.

  6. Do naive juvenile seabirds forage differently from adults?

    PubMed Central

    Riotte-Lambert, Louise; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2013-01-01

    Foraging skills of young individuals are assumed to be inferior to those of adults. The reduced efficiency of naive individuals may be the primary cause of the high juvenile mortality and explain the deferment of maturity in long-lived species. However, the study of juvenile and immature foraging behaviour has been limited so far. We used satellite telemetry to compare the foraging movements of juveniles, immatures and breeding adult wandering albatrosses Diomedea exulans, a species where foraging success is positively influenced by the distance covered daily. We showed that juveniles are able to use favourable winds as soon as the first month of independence, but cover shorter distances daily and spend more time sitting on water than adults during the first two months after fledging. These reduced movement capacities do not seem to be the cause of higher juvenile mortality. Moreover, juveniles almost never restrict their movement to specific areas, as adults and immatures frequently do over shelf edges or oceanic zones, which suggest that the location of appropriate areas is learned through experience. Immatures and adults have equivalent movement capacities, but when they are central place foragers, i.e. when adults breed or immatures come to the colony to display and pair, immatures make shorter trips than adults. The long duration of immaturity in this species seems to be related to a long period of learning to integrate the foraging constraints associated with reproduction and central place foraging. Our results indicate that foraging behaviour of young albatrosses is partly innate and partly learned progressively over immaturity. The first months of learning appear critical in terms of survival, whereas the long period of immaturity is necessary for young birds to attain the skills necessary for efficient breeding without fitness costs. PMID:23926153

  7. Oxidative phenols in forage crops containing polyphenol oxidase enzymes.

    PubMed

    Parveen, Ifat; Threadgill, Michael D; Moorby, Jon M; Winters, Ana

    2010-02-10

    Polyphenol oxidases (PPOs) are copper-containing enzymes that catalyze oxidation of endogenous monophenols to ortho-dihydroxyaryl compounds and of ortho-dihydroxyaryl compounds to ortho-quinones. Subsequent nucleophilic addition reactions of phenols, amino acids, and proteins with the electrophilic ortho-quinones form brown-, black-, or red-colored secondary products associated with the undesired discolouration of fruit and vegetables. Several important forage plants also exhibit significant PPO activity, and a link with improved efficiency of ruminant production has been established. In ruminant animals, extensive degradation of forage proteins, following consumption, can result in high rates of excretion of nitrogen, which contributes to point-source and diffuse pollution. Reaction of quinones with forage proteins leads to the formation of protein-phenol complexes that are resistant to proteolytic activity during ensilage and during rumen fermentation. Thus, PPO in red clover (Trifolium pratense) has been shown to improve protein utilization by ruminants. While PPO activity has been demonstrated in a number of forage crops, little work has been carried out to identify substrates of PPO, knowledge of which would be beneficial for characterizing this trait in these forages. In general, a wide range of 1,2-dihydroxyarenes can serve as PPO substrates because these are readily oxidized because of the ortho positioning of the hydroxy groups. Naturally occurring phenols isolated from forage crops with PPO activity are reviewed. A large number of phenols, which may be directly or indirectly oxidized as a consequence of PPO activity, have been identified in several forage grass, legume, cereal, and brassica species; these include hydroxybenzoic acids, hydroxycinnamates, and flavonoids. In conclusion, a number of compounds are known or postulated to enable PPO activity in important PPO-expressing forage crops. Targeting the matching of these compounds with PPO activity

  8. The Forager Oral Tradition and the Evolution of Prolonged Juvenility

    PubMed Central

    Scalise Sugiyama, Michelle

    2011-01-01

    The foraging niche is characterized by the exploitation of nutrient-rich resources using complex extraction techniques that take a long time to acquire. This costly period of development is supported by intensive parental investment. Although human life history theory tends to characterize this investment in terms of food and care, ethnographic research on foraging skill transmission suggests that the flow of resources from old-to-young also includes knowledge. Given the adaptive value of information, parents may have been under selection pressure to invest knowledge – e.g., warnings, advice – in children: proactive provisioning of reliable information would have increased offspring survival rates and, hence, parental fitness. One way that foragers acquire subsistence knowledge is through symbolic communication, including narrative. Tellingly, oral traditions are characterized by an old-to-young transmission pattern, which suggests that, in forager groups, storytelling might be an important means by which adults transfer knowledge to juveniles. In particular, by providing juveniles with vicarious experience, storytelling may expand episodic memory, which is believed to be integral to the generation of possible future scenarios (i.e., planning). In support of this hypothesis, this essay reviews evidence that: mastery of foraging knowledge and skill sets takes a long time to acquire; foraging knowledge is transmitted from parent to child; the human mind contains adaptations specific to social learning; full assembly of learning mechanisms is not complete in early childhood; and forager oral traditions contain a wide range of information integral to occupation of the foraging niche. It concludes with suggestions for tests of the proposed hypothesis. PMID:21897825

  9. Information Foraging in Nuclear Power Plant Control Rooms

    SciTech Connect

    R.L. Boring

    2011-09-01

    nformation foraging theory articulates the role of the human as an 'informavore' that seeks information and follows optimal foraging strategies (i.e., the 'information scent') to find meaningful information. This paper briefly reviews the findings from information foraging theory outside the nuclear domain and then discusses the types of information foraging strategies operators employ for normal and off-normal operations in the control room. For example, operators may employ a predatory 'wolf' strategy of hunting for information in the face of a plant upset. However, during routine operations, the operators may employ a trapping 'spider' strategy of waiting for relevant indicators to appear. This delineation corresponds to information pull and push strategies, respectively. No studies have been conducted to determine explicitly the characteristics of a control room interface that is optimized for both push and pull information foraging strategies, nor has there been empirical work to validate operator performance when transitioning between push and pull strategies. This paper explores examples of control room operators as wolves vs. spiders and con- cludes by proposing a set of research questions to investigate information foraging in control room settings.

  10. Social Calls Predict Foraging Success in Big Brown Bats

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Genevieve Spanjer; Chiu, Chen; Xian, Wei; Wilkinson, Gerald S.; Moss, Cynthia F.

    2014-01-01

    Animals foraging in the dark are simultaneously engaged in prey pursuit, collision avoidance and interactions with conspecifics, making efficient, non-visual communication essential. A variety of birds and mammals emit food-associated calls that inform, attract, or repel conspecifics [e.g., 1]. Big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) are insectivorous aerial hawkers that may forage near conspecifics and are known to emit social calls [e.g., 2, 3, 4, 5]. Calls recorded in a foraging setting might attract [e.g., 6] or repel conspecifics [7] and could denote territoriality or food-claiming. Here, we provide evidence that a social call emitted only by male bats, exclusively in a foraging context [5], the “frequency-modulated bout” (FMB), is used to claim food and is individually distinct. Bats were studied individually and in pairs in a flight room equipped with synchronized high-speed stereo video and audio recording equipment, while sex and experience with a foraging task were experimentally manipulated. Male bats emitting the FMB showed greater success in capturing prey. Following FMB emission, inter-bat distance, diverging flight, and the other bat’s distance to the prey each increased. These findings highlight the importance and utility of vocal communication for a nocturnal animal mediating interactions with conspecifics in a fast-paced foraging setting. PMID:24684936

  11. Patch shape, connectivity, and foraging by oldfield mice (Peromyscus polionotus).

    SciTech Connect

    Orrock, John, L.; Danielson, Brent J

    2005-06-01

    We examined how corridors and patch shape affect foraging by the oldfield mouse (Peromyscus polionotus) by deploying foraging trays and live traps in experimental landscapes with 3 different patch types: patches connected with a corridor, unconnected patches with projecting corridorlike portions (winged patches), and unconnected rectangular patches. Corridors did not lead to different levels of activity of P. polionotus among the 3 patch types. Rather, corridors influenced activity by changing patch shape: foraging in seed trays and total number of captures of P. polionotus tended to be greater at the patch center than at the patch edge, but only in connected and winged patches where corridors or wings increased the amount of patch edge relative to the amount of core habitat in the patch. P. polionotus avoided open microhabitats near the patch edge in winged and connected patches, but not open microhabitats near the patch interior, suggesting that predation risk caused shifts in foraging near edges in connected and winged patches. Foraging in corridors and wings was generally low, suggesting that both are high-risk habitats where predation risk is not ameliorated by proximity to vegetative cover. By changing patch shape, corridors caused changes in within-patch activity of P. polionotus, changing foraging patterns and potentially altering the dynamics of P. polionotus and the seeds they consume.

  12. Sex-specific foraging behaviour in a monomorphic seabird.

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, S; Benvenuti, S; Dall'Antonia, L; Griffiths, R; Money, L; Sherratt, T N; Wanless, S; Hamer, K C

    2002-01-01

    Sexual differences in the foraging behaviour of parents have been observed in a number of sexually sizedimorphic birds, particularly seabirds, and the usual inference has been that these sex-specific differences are mediated primarily by differences in body size. To test this explanation, we compared the foraging behaviour of parents in a monomorphic seabird species, the northern gannet Morus bassanus. Using specially designed instruments and radio telemetry we found that individuals of both sexes were consistent in the directions and durations of their foraging trips. However, there were significant differences in the foraging behaviour of males and females. Female gannets were not only more selective than males in the areas where they foraged, but they also made longer, deeper dives and spent more time on the sea surface than males. As the sexes are morphologically similar in this species, then these differences are unlikely to have been mediated by body size. Our work highlights the need to investigate sexual differences in the foraging behaviour of seabirds and other species more closely, in order to test alternative theories that do not rely on differences in body size. PMID:12204129

  13. Foraging Ecology Predicts Learning Performance in Insectivorous Bats

    PubMed Central

    Clarin, Theresa M. A.; Ruczyński, Ireneusz; Page, Rachel A.

    2013-01-01

    Bats are unusual among mammals in showing great ecological diversity even among closely related species and are thus well suited for studies of adaptation to the ecological background. Here we investigate whether behavioral flexibility and simple- and complex-rule learning performance can be predicted by foraging ecology. We predict faster learning and higher flexibility in animals hunting in more complex, variable environments than in animals hunting in more simple, stable environments. To test this hypothesis, we studied three closely related insectivorous European bat species of the genus Myotis that belong to three different functional groups based on foraging habitats: M. capaccinii, an open water forager, M. myotis, a passive listening gleaner, and M. emarginatus, a clutter specialist. We predicted that M. capaccinii would show the least flexibility and slowest learning reflecting its relatively unstructured foraging habitat and the stereotypy of its natural foraging behavior, while the other two species would show greater flexibility and more rapid learning reflecting the complexity of their natural foraging tasks. We used a purposefully unnatural and thus species-fair crawling maze to test simple- and complex-rule learning, flexibility and re-learning performance. We found that M. capaccinii learned a simple rule as fast as the other species, but was slower in complex rule learning and was less flexible in response to changes in reward location. We found no differences in re-learning ability among species. Our results corroborate the hypothesis that animals’ cognitive skills reflect the demands of their ecological niche. PMID:23755146

  14. Cotton Rats Alter Foraging in Response to an Invasive Ant

    PubMed Central

    Darracq, Andrea K.; Conner, L. Mike; Brown, Joel S.; McCleery, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    We assessed the effects of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta; hereafter fire ant) on the foraging of hispid cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus). We used a manipulative experiment, placing resource patches with a known amount of millet seed within areas with reduced (RIFA [–]) or ambient (RIFA [+]) numbers of fire ants. We measured giving up densities (the amount of food left within each patch) within the resource patches for 4 days to quantify the effects of fire ants on cotton rat foraging. We assessed the effects of fire ant treatment (RIFA), Day, and their interaction on cotton rat giving up densities. Giving up densities on RIFA [+] grids were nearly 2.2 times greater across all foraging days and ranged from 1.6 to 2.3 times greater from day 1 to day 4 than the RIFA [–] grids. From day 1 to day 4, mean giving up densities decreased significantly faster for the RIFA [–] than RIFA [+] treatments, 58% and 13%, respectively. Our results demonstrate that cotton rats perceive a risk of injury from fire ants, which is likely caused by interference competition, rather than direct predation. Envenomation from ants likely decrease the foraging efficiency of cotton rats resulting in more time spent foraging. Increased time spent foraging is likely stressful in terms of the opportunity for direct injury and encounters with other predators. These indirect effects may reduce an individual cotton rat’s fitness and translate into lowered population abundances. PMID:27655320

  15. Foraging decisions, patch use, and seasonality in egrets (Aves: ciconiiformes)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.

    1985-01-01

    Feeding snowy (Egretta thula) and great (Casmerodius albus) egrets were observed during 2 breeding seasons in coastal New Jersey and 2 brief winter periods in northeast Florida (USA). A number of tests based on assumptions of foraging models, predictions from foraging theory, and earlier empirical tests concerning time allocation and movement in foraging patches was made. Few of the expectations based on foraging theory and/or assumptions were supported by the empirical evidence. Snowy egrets fed with greater intensity and efficiency during the breeding season (when young were being fed) than during winter. They also showed some tendency to leave patches when their capture rate declined, and they spent more time foraging in patches when other birds were present nearby. Great egrets showed few of these tendencies, although they did leave patches when their intercapture intervals increased. Satiation differences had some influence on feeding rates in snowy egrets, but only at the end of feeding bouts. Some individuals of both species revisited areas in patches that had recently been exploited, and success rates were usually higher after the 2nd visit. Apparently, for predators of active prey, short-term changes in resource availability ('resource depression') may be more important than resource depletion, a common assumption in most optimal foraging theory models.

  16. Foraging ecology predicts learning performance in insectivorous bats.

    PubMed

    Clarin, Theresa M A; Ruczyński, Ireneusz; Page, Rachel A; Siemers, Björn M

    2013-01-01

    Bats are unusual among mammals in showing great ecological diversity even among closely related species and are thus well suited for studies of adaptation to the ecological background. Here we investigate whether behavioral flexibility and simple- and complex-rule learning performance can be predicted by foraging ecology. We predict faster learning and higher flexibility in animals hunting in more complex, variable environments than in animals hunting in more simple, stable environments. To test this hypothesis, we studied three closely related insectivorous European bat species of the genus Myotis that belong to three different functional groups based on foraging habitats: M. capaccinii, an open water forager, M. myotis, a passive listening gleaner, and M. emarginatus, a clutter specialist. We predicted that M. capaccinii would show the least flexibility and slowest learning reflecting its relatively unstructured foraging habitat and the stereotypy of its natural foraging behavior, while the other two species would show greater flexibility and more rapid learning reflecting the complexity of their natural foraging tasks. We used a purposefully unnatural and thus species-fair crawling maze to test simple- and complex-rule learning, flexibility and re-learning performance. We found that M. capaccinii learned a simple rule as fast as the other species, but was slower in complex rule learning and was less flexible in response to changes in reward location. We found no differences in re-learning ability among species. Our results corroborate the hypothesis that animals' cognitive skills reflect the demands of their ecological niche.

  17. Chaos-order transition in foraging behavior of ants.

    PubMed

    Li, Lixiang; Peng, Haipeng; Kurths, Jürgen; Yang, Yixian; Schellnhuber, Hans Joachim

    2014-06-10

    The study of the foraging behavior of group animals (especially ants) is of practical ecological importance, but it also contributes to the development of widely applicable optimization problem-solving techniques. Biologists have discovered that single ants exhibit low-dimensional deterministic-chaotic activities. However, the influences of the nest, ants' physical abilities, and ants' knowledge (or experience) on foraging behavior have received relatively little attention in studies of the collective behavior of ants. This paper provides new insights into basic mechanisms of effective foraging for social insects or group animals that have a home. We propose that the whole foraging process of ants is controlled by three successive strategies: hunting, homing, and path building. A mathematical model is developed to study this complex scheme. We show that the transition from chaotic to periodic regimes observed in our model results from an optimization scheme for group animals with a home. According to our investigation, the behavior of such insects is not represented by random but rather deterministic walks (as generated by deterministic dynamical systems, e.g., by maps) in a random environment: the animals use their intelligence and experience to guide them. The more knowledge an ant has, the higher its foraging efficiency is. When young insects join the collective to forage with old and middle-aged ants, it benefits the whole colony in the long run. The resulting strategy can even be optimal.

  18. Evidence for ship noise impacts on humpback whale foraging behaviour.

    PubMed

    Blair, Hannah B; Merchant, Nathan D; Friedlaender, Ari S; Wiley, David N; Parks, Susan E

    2016-08-01

    Noise from shipping activity in North Atlantic coastal waters has been steadily increasing and is an area of growing conservation concern, as it has the potential to disrupt the behaviour of marine organisms. This study examines the impacts of ship noise on bottom foraging humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the western North Atlantic. Data were collected from 10 foraging whales using non-invasive archival tags that simultaneously recorded underwater movements and the acoustic environment at the whale. Using mixed models, we assess the effects of ship noise on seven parameters of their feeding behaviours. Independent variables included the presence or absence of ship noise and the received level of ship noise at the whale. We found significant effects on foraging, including slower descent rates and fewer side-roll feeding events per dive with increasing ship noise. During 5 of 18 ship passages, dives without side-rolls were observed. These findings indicate that humpback whales on Stellwagen Bank, an area with chronically elevated levels of shipping traffic, significantly change foraging activity when exposed to high levels of ship noise. This measureable reduction in within-dive foraging effort of individual whales could potentially lead to population-level impacts of shipping noise on baleen whale foraging success.

  19. Nutritional Characteristics of Forage Grown in South of Benin

    PubMed Central

    Musco, Nadia; Koura, Ivan B.; Tudisco, Raffaella; Awadjihè, Ghislain; Adjolohoun, Sebastien; Cutrignelli, Monica I.; Mollica, Maria Pina; Houinato, Marcel; Infascelli, Federico; Calabrò, Serena

    2016-01-01

    In order to provide recommendations on the most useful forage species to smallholder farmers, eleven grass and eleven legume forages grown in Abomey-Calavi in Republic of Benin were investigated for nutritive value (i.e. chemical composition and energy content) and fermentation characteristics (i.e. gas and volatile fatty acid production, organic matter degradability). The in vitro gas production technique was used, incubating the forages for 120 h under anaerobic condition with buffalo rumen fluid. Compared to legume, tropical grass forages showed lower energy (8.07 vs 10.57 MJ/kg dry matter [DM]) and crude protein level (16.10% vs 19.91% DM) and higher cell wall content (neutral detergent fiber: 63.8% vs 40.45% DM), respectively. In grass forages, the chemical composition showed a quite high crude protein content; the in vitro degradability was slightly lower than the range of tropical pasture. The woody legumes were richer in protein and energy and lower in structural carbohydrates than herbaceous plants, however, their in vitro results are influenced by the presence of complex compounds (i.e. tannins). Significant correlations were found between chemical composition and in vitro fermentation characteristics. The in vitro gas production method appears to be a suitable technique for the evaluation of the nutritive value of forages in developing countries. PMID:26732328

  20. Simultaneous brightness contrast of foraging Papilio butterflies

    PubMed Central

    Kinoshita, Michiyo; Takahashi, Yuki; Arikawa, Kentaro

    2012-01-01

    This study focuses on the sense of brightness in the foraging Japanese yellow swallowtail butterfly, Papilio xuthus. We presented two red discs of different intensity on a grey background to butterflies, and trained them to select one of the discs. They were successfully trained to select either a high intensity or a low intensity disc. The trained butterflies were tested on their ability to perceive brightness in two different protocols: (i) two orange discs of different intensity presented on the same intensity grey background and (ii) two orange discs of the same intensity separately presented on a grey background that was either higher or lower in intensity than the training background. The butterflies trained to high intensity red selected the orange disc of high intensity in protocol 1, and the disc on the background of low intensity grey in protocol 2. We obtained similar results in another set of experiments with purple discs instead of orange discs. The choices of the butterflies trained to low intensity red were opposite to those just described. Taken together, we conclude that Papilio has the ability to learn brightness and darkness of targets independent of colour, and that they have the so-called simultaneous brightness contrast. PMID:22179808

  1. Simultaneous brightness contrast of foraging Papilio butterflies.

    PubMed

    Kinoshita, Michiyo; Takahashi, Yuki; Arikawa, Kentaro

    2012-05-22

    This study focuses on the sense of brightness in the foraging Japanese yellow swallowtail butterfly, Papilio xuthus. We presented two red discs of different intensity on a grey background to butterflies, and trained them to select one of the discs. They were successfully trained to select either a high intensity or a low intensity disc. The trained butterflies were tested on their ability to perceive brightness in two different protocols: (i) two orange discs of different intensity presented on the same intensity grey background and (ii) two orange discs of the same intensity separately presented on a grey background that was either higher or lower in intensity than the training background. The butterflies trained to high intensity red selected the orange disc of high intensity in protocol 1, and the disc on the background of low intensity grey in protocol 2. We obtained similar results in another set of experiments with purple discs instead of orange discs. The choices of the butterflies trained to low intensity red were opposite to those just described. Taken together, we conclude that Papilio has the ability to learn brightness and darkness of targets independent of colour, and that they have the so-called simultaneous brightness contrast.

  2. Ocean acidification impairs crab foraging behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Dodd, Luke F.; Grabowski, Jonathan H.; Piehler, Michael F.; Westfield, Isaac; Ries, Justin B.

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic elevation of atmospheric CO2 is driving global-scale ocean acidification, which consequently influences calcification rates of many marine invertebrates and potentially alters their susceptibility to predation. Ocean acidification may also impair an organism's ability to process environmental and biological cues. These counteracting impacts make it challenging to predict how acidification will alter species interactions and community structure. To examine effects of acidification on consumptive and behavioural interactions between mud crabs (Panopeus herbstii) and oysters (Crassostrea virginica), oysters were reared with and without caged crabs for 71 days at three pCO2 levels. During subsequent predation trials, acidification reduced prey consumption, handling time and duration of unsuccessful predation attempt. These negative effects of ocean acidification on crab foraging behaviour more than offset any benefit to crabs resulting from a reduction in the net rate of oyster calcification. These findings reveal that efforts to evaluate how acidification will alter marine food webs should include quantifying impacts on both calcification rates and animal behaviour. PMID:26108629

  3. Ocean acidification impairs crab foraging behaviour.

    PubMed

    Dodd, Luke F; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Piehler, Michael F; Westfield, Isaac; Ries, Justin B

    2015-07-07

    Anthropogenic elevation of atmospheric CO2 is driving global-scale ocean acidification, which consequently influences calcification rates of many marine invertebrates and potentially alters their susceptibility to predation. Ocean acidification may also impair an organism's ability to process environmental and biological cues. These counteracting impacts make it challenging to predict how acidification will alter species interactions and community structure. To examine effects of acidification on consumptive and behavioural interactions between mud crabs (Panopeus herbstii) and oysters (Crassostrea virginica), oysters were reared with and without caged crabs for 71 days at three pCO2 levels. During subsequent predation trials, acidification reduced prey consumption, handling time and duration of unsuccessful predation attempt. These negative effects of ocean acidification on crab foraging behaviour more than offset any benefit to crabs resulting from a reduction in the net rate of oyster calcification. These findings reveal that efforts to evaluate how acidification will alter marine food webs should include quantifying impacts on both calcification rates and animal behaviour.

  4. Scene Construction, Visual Foraging, and Active Inference

    PubMed Central

    Mirza, M. Berk; Adams, Rick A.; Mathys, Christoph D.; Friston, Karl J.

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes an active inference scheme for visual searches and the perceptual synthesis entailed by scene construction. Active inference assumes that perception and action minimize variational free energy, where actions are selected to minimize the free energy expected in the future. This assumption generalizes risk-sensitive control and expected utility theory to include epistemic value; namely, the value (or salience) of information inherent in resolving uncertainty about the causes of ambiguous cues or outcomes. Here, we apply active inference to saccadic searches of a visual scene. We consider the (difficult) problem of categorizing a scene, based on the spatial relationship among visual objects where, crucially, visual cues are sampled myopically through a sequence of saccadic eye movements. This means that evidence for competing hypotheses about the scene has to be accumulated sequentially, calling upon both prediction (planning) and postdiction (memory). Our aim is to highlight some simple but fundamental aspects of the requisite functional anatomy; namely, the link between approximate Bayesian inference under mean field assumptions and functional segregation in the visual cortex. This link rests upon the (neurobiologically plausible) process theory that accompanies the normative formulation of active inference for Markov decision processes. In future work, we hope to use this scheme to model empirical saccadic searches and identify the prior beliefs that underwrite intersubject variability in the way people forage for information in visual scenes (e.g., in schizophrenia). PMID:27378899

  5. Bilateral Comparison in Chemosensory-Mediated Foraging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, D. R.; Rahman, S.; Dasi, L. P.

    2000-11-01

    Motivation is drawn from the need to determine the sensory cues that animals such as blue crabs and lobsters use to track chemical odor plumes to locate food or mates. Major steps forward with this difficult problem can only be achieved through an appreciation of the spatial and temporal variation of concentration fields and the information content available to a forager in the plume. Here we discuss the usefulness of bilateral comparison to an animal tracking a turbulent plume. Instantaneous concentration fields of a chemical plume diffusing in a fully-developed turbulent open channel flow are measured using planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF). The plume is released iso-kinetically 25 mm above the smooth bed (z+ = 90), thus transport is mainly due to advection and ambient turbulence. A spatial correlation function in the spanwise direction is a dramatic indicator of the relative position of the centerline and distance from the source. The relative direction of the plume centerline can be estimated from an instantaneous bilateral comparison provided the sensors are separated by a distance that is relatively large compared to the spanwise integral length scale based on the spatial correlation function.

  6. Foraging proficiency during the nonbreeding season of a specialized forager: are juvenile American Oystercatchers "bumble-beaks" compared to adults?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hand, Christine E.; Sanders, Felicia J.; Jodice, Patrick G.

    2010-01-01

    In many species, immature individuals are less proficient at foraging than are adults, and this difference may be especially critical during winter when survival can be at its minimum. We investigated the foraging proficiency of adult and immature American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus) during the nonbreeding season. Oystercatchers forage on prey that must be handled with specialized skills, so age-related differences in foraging behavior may be expected. We found that adults spent more time searching than did immatures, a trend toward immatures taking longer to handle prey than did adults, and immatures more often handling prey unsuccessfully than did adults. Feeding rates and diet composition did not differ by age class. We posit that the immature birds traded off longer handling times with shorter searching times and that ultimately the abundant prey in the region may contribute to the ability of immature birds to feed at rates similar to those of adults.

  7. Effect of wheat forage maturity and preservation method on forage chemical composition and performance of growing calves fed mixed diets.

    PubMed

    Beck, P A; Stewart, C B; Gray, H C; Smith, J L; Gunter, S A

    2009-12-01

    Three 2.4-ha wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) fields were used to test the effects of maturity at harvest (boot vs. dough) and preservation method (hay vs. silage) on forage yield, chemical composition, and animal performance when fed in mixed diets. Forages were incorporated into 4 diets in a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of treatments with hominy feed, soybean hulls, and cottonseed meal as the primary concentrate ingredients. In Exp. 1 diets contained 20% wheat forage (DM basis) and were fed to 96 beef calves (n = 48 steers and 48 heifers; initial BW 229 +/- 6.0 kg) in 12 mixed-sex pens. In Exp. 2 diets contained 40% wheat forage (DM basis) and were fed to beef steers (n = 48; initial BW 198 +/- 6.8 kg) in 12 pens. These diets were also individually fed to 32 calves (Exp. 1, n = 16, BW = 187 +/- 9.4 kg; Exp. 2, n = 16 calves, BW = 160 +/- 8.2 kg) to determine DM and NDF digestibility and gastrointestinal tract passage kinetics. Advanced maturity increased (P < 0.01) DM yield, decreased (P < 0.01) CP concentrations, and tended (P = 0.10) to increase nonfiber carbohydrate concentrations, but did not affect (P >or= 0.22) NDF, ADF, or TDN concentrations. Maturity at harvest, preservation method, or their interaction did not affect (P >or= 0.15) ADG when wheat forage was fed as 20 or 40% of the diet. When calves were fed the 40% wheat forage diets, maturity at harvest did not affect (P >or= 0.27) DMI or G:F. Calves fed 40% hay diets consumed more (P = 0.04) feed DM as a percentage of BW than calves fed silage diets, but tended (P = 0.09) to be less efficient. With 20 or 40% wheat forage diets, there were no differences (P >or= 0.13) in passage rate, ruminal retention time, or fecal output due to maturity or preservation method. Digestibility of DM tended (P = 0.07) to be greater for silage than hay diets when fed in 20% wheat forage diets. Dry matter and NDF digestibility of 40% boot-stage wheat forage diets were greater (P < 0.01) than diets containing forage harvested in

  8. Performance and economic analyses of year-round forage systems for forage-fed beef production in the Gulf Coast.

    PubMed

    Scaglia, G; Rodriguez, J; Gillespie, J; Bhandari, B; Wang, J J; McMillin, K W

    2014-12-01

    On a global scale, most beef is produced from grazing pastures or rangelands. Certain limitations exist, however, such as not having adequate animal rates of gain for marbling and availability of adequate forage nutritional value and quantity for constant animal weight gains. In the last 20 yr, there has been an increased interest in forage-fed beef for multiple reasons (health related, environmental concerns, and welfare issues). Starting on June 5, 13, 14, and 8 in 4 consecutive yr, 54 steers (initial BW=259±5.6 kg; average of 9 mo of age) were randomly allotted to 3 yr-round forage systems. Each system occupied 6 ha/replicate and had the same stocking rate. System 1 had annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) for winter grazing and bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) for summer grazing; while Systems 2 and 3 added rye and a clover mix to the ryegrass and diversified the use of pastures in the fall (dallisgrass [Paspalum dilatatum] and clovers [Trifolium spp.]). System 3 added the use of annual summer forages. During their respective growing season for each forage or forage mix, mass and height did not limit animal performance; however, there was a sampling date effect (P<0.05) for nutritive value variables since it decreased as forages became mature. The ADG observed (0.44 kg) for all systems (P=0.78) during summer was lower than expected and might have been limited by the observed temperature as well as forage nutritive value. Systems 1 and 2 had more grazing days (P=0.03) during summer (155 and 146 d, respectively) compared to System 3 (132 d) due to the greater pasture area of bermudagrass in those systems. Steers in System 3 were fed more hay for a longer period of time (P<0.05) than on the other 2 systems. System 1 and 2 produced more hay per hectare than System 3 (P<0.05). No differences (P>0.05) were detected between systems in ADG year round, during the winter season, or carcass characteristics. Return over total direct costs and total specified expenses were

  9. Root Foraging Performance and Life-History Traits.

    PubMed

    Weiser, Martin; Koubek, Tomáš; Herben, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    Plants use their roots to forage for nutrients in heterogeneous soil environments, but different plant species vastly differ in the intensity of foraging they perform. This diversity suggests the existence of constraints on foraging at the species level. We therefore examined the relationships between the intensity of root foraging and plant body traits across species in order to estimate the degree of coordination between plant body traits and root foraging as a form of plant behavior. We cultivated 37 perennial herbaceous Central European species from open terrestrial habitats in pots with three different spatial gradients of nutrient availability (steep, shallow, and no gradient). We assessed the intensity of foraging as differences in root placement inside pots with and without a spatial gradient of resource supply. For the same set of species, we retrieved data about body traits from available databases: maximum height at maturity, mean area of leaf, specific leaf area, shoot lifespan, ability to self-propagate clonally, maximal lateral spread (in clonal plants only), realized vegetative growth in cultivation, and realized seed regeneration in cultivation. Clonal plants and plants with extensive vegetative growth showed considerably weaker foraging than their non-clonal or slow-growing counterparts. There was no phylogenetic signal in the amount of expressed root foraging intensity. Since clonal plants foraged less than non-clonals and foraging intensity did not seem to be correlated with species phylogeny, we hypothesize that clonal growth itself (i.e., the ability to develop at least partly self-sustaining ramets) may be an answer to soil heterogeneity. Whereas unitary plants use roots as organs specialized for both resource acquisition and transport to overcome spatial heterogeneity in resource supply, clonal plants separate these two functions. Becoming a clonal plant allows higher specialization at the organ level, since a typical clonal plant can be

  10. Comparative digestibility by cattle versus sheep: effect of forage quality.

    PubMed

    Soto-Navarro, S A; Lopez, R; Sankey, C; Capitan, B M; Holland, B P; Balstad, L A; Krehbiel, C R

    2014-04-01

    The objective was to determine the effect of forage quality on apparent total tract digestibility and ruminal fermentation in cattle versus sheep. Five yearling English crossbred (Hereford × Angus) steers (440.4 ± 35.6 kg of initial BW) and 5 yearling whiteface (Rambouillet × Columbia × Debouillet) wethers (44.4 ± 4.6 kg of initial BW), each fitted with a ruminal cannula, were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 forage sources within ruminant specie, and the study was conducted over 3 periods. For forage source, both animal and period served as the blocking factor with all forage sources represented once within each animal and all forage sources represented at least once within each period. The treatment structure was arranged in a 2 × 3 factorial with ruminant species (2) and forage source (3) as the factors. Forage sources were 1) alfalfa hay (Medicago sativa; 17.5% CP and 34.1% NDF, DM basis), 2) warm-season grass hay mix (Bothriochloa ischaemum and Cynodon dactylon; 7.3% CP and 74.7% NDF, DM basis), and 3) lovegrass hay (Eragrostis curvula; 2.5% CP and 81.9% NDF, DM basis). As a percent of BW, steers and wethers consumed similar (P ≤ 0.06) amounts of forage, and intake was more influenced by forage quality (P < 0.001) than ruminant species (P = 0.35). When expressed per unit of metabolic BW, cattle consumed more (P < 0.001) DM, NDF, and N than sheep. Apparent total tract digestibility was similar among steers and wethers when alfalfa or grass hay was fed, but decreased to a greater extent in wethers when low-quality lovegrass hay was fed (ruminant species × diet interaction, P ≤ 0.01). Rate (%/h) of ruminal NDF disappearance was greater (P = 0.02) for alfalfa and grass hay than lovegrass, but was not influenced (P = 0.12) by ruminant species. In addition, ruminal DM fill was influenced more (P < 0.01) by forage than by ruminant species (P = 0.07). Steers and wethers had greater (P < 0.01) DM fill from grass hay and lovegrass hay than alfalfa before and 5 h

  11. Insect prey foraging strategies in Callicebus oenanthe in northern Peru.

    PubMed

    Deluycker, Anneke M

    2012-05-01

    Titi monkeys (genus Callicebus) are small-bodied platyrrhines that supplement their predominantly frugivorous diet with variable amounts of leaves, seeds, and/or arthropod prey. Notable interspecific variation in the amount of insect prey in the diet has been observed in Callicebus, ranging from 0% to 20%. In this study, I investigate the degree and type of prey foraging in a little-known species, Callicebus oenanthe inhabiting a fragmented, secondary forest on the foothills of the Andes in northern Peru. I present data on prey type, prey search and capture techniques, substrate/vegetation use, foraging height, prey capture efficiency, and seasonal variation of insect prey foraging in one group of C. oenanthe observed from January to August 2005. Insect prey accounted for 22% of the diet, the highest amount reported for any Callicebus species to date, and insects from at least six different orders were included. C. oenanthe was mainly an investigative forager of hidden prey, manipulating easy-to-open substrates such as rolled up leaves, and hunted ant swarms and larger insects opportunistically. Insect foraging was predominant during the dry season (26%) and decreased during the wet season (13%). The study group foraged mostly in the understory (2-6 m) within vine-laden shrubs and trees, which may conform to an anti-predator strategy of crypticity. Overall the group had an 83% insect capture success rate. These data suggest that insect prey is an important part of the diet of C. oenanthe and may be especially notable during periods of resource scarcity. This study adds to the knowledge concerning insect prey foraging in Callicebus, which can have an important role in defining ecological strategies in the selection of secondary protein food resources within a given ecosystem.

  12. Sublethal imidacloprid effects on honey bee flower choices when foraging.

    PubMed

    Karahan, Ahmed; Çakmak, Ibrahim; Hranitz, John M; Karaca, Ismail; Wells, Harrington

    2015-11-01

    Neonicotinoids, systemic neuro-active pesticides similar to nicotine, are widely used in agriculture and are being investigated for a role in honey bee colony losses. We examined one neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid, for its effects on the foraging behavior of free-flying honey bees (Apis mellifera anatoliaca) visiting artificial blue and white flowers. Imidacloprid doses, ranging from 1/5 to 1/50 of the reported LD50, were fed to bees orally. The study consisted of three experimental parts performed sequentially without interruption. In Part 1, both flower colors contained a 4 μL 1 M sucrose solution reward. Part 2 offered bees 4 μL of 1.5 M sucrose solution in blue flowers and a 4 μL 0.5 M sucrose solution reward in white flowers. In Part 3 we reversed the sugar solution rewards, while keeping the flower color consistent. Each experiment began 30 min after administration of the pesticide. We recorded the percentage of experimental bees that returned to forage after treatment. We also recorded the visitation rate, number of flowers visited, and floral reward choices of the bees that foraged after treatment. The forager return rate declined linearly with increasing imidacloprid dose. The number of foraging trips by returning bees was also affected adversely. However, flower fidelity was not affected by imidacloprid dose. Foragers visited both blue and white flowers extensively in Part 1, and showed greater fidelity for the flower color offering the higher sugar solution reward in Parts 2 and 3. Although larger samples sizes are needed, our study suggests that imidacloprid may not affect the ability to select the higher nectar reward when rewards were reversed. We observed acute, mild effects on foraging by honey bees, so mild that storage of imidacloprid tainted-honey is very plausible and likely to be found in honey bee colonies.

  13. Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Calibrations Performed on Oven-Dried Green Forages for the Prediction of Chemical Composition and Nutritive Value of Preserved Forage for Ruminants.

    PubMed

    Andueza, Donato; Picard, Fabienne; Martin-Rosset, William; Aufrère, Jocelyne

    2016-08-01

    Predicting forage feed value is a vital part of estimating ruminant performances. Most near-infrared (NIR) reflectance calibration models have been developed on oven-dried green forages, but preserved forages such as hays or silages are a significant part of real-world farm practice. Fresh and preserved forages give largely similar fodder, but drying or ensiling processes could modify preserved forage spectra which would make the oven-dried green forage model unsuitable to use on preserved forage samples. The aim of this study was to monitor the performance of oven-dried green forage calibration models on a set of hay and silage to predict their nutritive value. Local and global approaches were tested and 1025 green permanent grassland forages, 46 types of hay, and 27 types of silage were used. The samples were scanned by NIR spectroscopy and analyzed for nitrogen, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, and pepsin-cellulase dry matter digestibility (PCDMD). Local and global calibrations were developed on 975 oven-dried green forage spectra and tested on 50 samples of oven-dried green forages, 46 samples of hay, and 27 samples of silage. For oven-dried green forage and hay validation sets, Mahalanobis distance (H) between these samples and the calibration population center was lower than 3. No significant standard error of prediction differences was obtained when calibration models were applied to oven-dried green forage and hay validation sets. For silage, the H-distance was higher than 3, meaning that calibration models built from oven-dried green forages cannot be applied to silage samples. We conclude that local calibration outperforms global strategy on predicting the PCDMD of oven-dried green forages and hay.

  14. Modelling foraging movements of diving predators: a theoretical study exploring the effect of heterogeneous landscapes on foraging efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Bartoń, Kamil A.; Scott, Beth E.; Travis, Justin M.J.

    2014-01-01

    Foraging in the marine environment presents particular challenges for air-breathing predators. Information about prey capture rates, the strategies that diving predators use to maximise prey encounter rates and foraging success are still largely unknown and difficult to observe. As well, with the growing awareness of potential climate change impacts and the increasing interest in the development of renewable sources it is unknown how the foraging activity of diving predators such as seabirds will respond to both the presence of underwater structures and the potential corresponding changes in prey distributions. Motivated by this issue we developed a theoretical model to gain general understanding of how the foraging efficiency of diving predators may vary according to landscape structure and foraging strategy. Our theoretical model highlights that animal movements, intervals between prey capture and foraging efficiency are likely to critically depend on the distribution of the prey resource and the size and distribution of introduced underwater structures. For multiple prey loaders, changes in prey distribution affected the searching time necessary to catch a set amount of prey which in turn affected the foraging efficiency. The spatial aggregation of prey around small devices (∼ 9 × 9 m) created a valuable habitat for a successful foraging activity resulting in shorter intervals between prey captures and higher foraging efficiency. The presence of large devices (∼ 24 × 24 m) however represented an obstacle for predator movement, thus increasing the intervals between prey captures. In contrast, for single prey loaders the introduction of spatial aggregation of the resources did not represent an advantage suggesting that their foraging efficiency is more strongly affected by other factors such as the timing to find the first prey item which was found to occur faster in the presence of large devices. The development of this theoretical model represents a useful

  15. Modelling foraging movements of diving predators: a theoretical study exploring the effect of heterogeneous landscapes on foraging efficiency.

    PubMed

    Chimienti, Marianna; Bartoń, Kamil A; Scott, Beth E; Travis, Justin M J

    2014-01-01

    Foraging in the marine environment presents particular challenges for air-breathing predators. Information about prey capture rates, the strategies that diving predators use to maximise prey encounter rates and foraging success are still largely unknown and difficult to observe. As well, with the growing awareness of potential climate change impacts and the increasing interest in the development of renewable sources it is unknown how the foraging activity of diving predators such as seabirds will respond to both the presence of underwater structures and the potential corresponding changes in prey distributions. Motivated by this issue we developed a theoretical model to gain general understanding of how the foraging efficiency of diving predators may vary according to landscape structure and foraging strategy. Our theoretical model highlights that animal movements, intervals between prey capture and foraging efficiency are likely to critically depend on the distribution of the prey resource and the size and distribution of introduced underwater structures. For multiple prey loaders, changes in prey distribution affected the searching time necessary to catch a set amount of prey which in turn affected the foraging efficiency. The spatial aggregation of prey around small devices (∼ 9 × 9 m) created a valuable habitat for a successful foraging activity resulting in shorter intervals between prey captures and higher foraging efficiency. The presence of large devices (∼ 24 × 24 m) however represented an obstacle for predator movement, thus increasing the intervals between prey captures. In contrast, for single prey loaders the introduction of spatial aggregation of the resources did not represent an advantage suggesting that their foraging efficiency is more strongly affected by other factors such as the timing to find the first prey item which was found to occur faster in the presence of large devices. The development of this theoretical model represents a useful

  16. Evidence for foraging -site fidelity and individual foraging behavior of pelagic cormorants rearing chicks in the gulf of Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kotzerka, J.; Hatch, Shyla A.; Garthe, S.

    2011-01-01

    The Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) is the most widespread cormorant in the North Pacific, but little is known about its foraging and diving behavior. However, knowledge of seabirds' foraging behavior is important to understanding their function in the marine environment. In 2006, using GPS dataloggers, we studied the foraging behavior of 14 male Pelagic Cormorants rearing chicks on Middleton Island, Alaska. For foraging, the birds had high fidelity to a small area 8 km north of the colony. Within that area, the cormorants' diving activity was of two distinct kinds-near-surface dives (1-6 m) and benthic dives (28-33 m). Individuals were consistent in the depths of their dives, either mostly shallow or mostly deep. Few showed no depth preference. Dive duration, time at maximum depth, and pauses at the water surface between consecutive dives were shorter for shallow dives than for deep dives. The cormorants made dives of both types throughout the day, but the frequency of deep dives increased toward evening. Maximum foraging range was 9 km; maximum total distance traveled per trip was 43.4 km. Trip durations ranged from 0.3 to 7.7 hr. Maximum depth of a dive was 42.2 m, and duration of dives ranged from 4 to 120 sec. We found that Pelagic Cormorants at Middleton Island were faithful to one particular foraging area and individuals dived in distinct patterns. Distinct, specialized foraging behavior may be advantageous in reducing intra- and interspecific competition but may also render the species vulnerable to changing environmental conditions. Copyright ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2011.

  17. Contact rate modulates foraging efficiency in leaf cutting ants.

    PubMed

    Bouchebti, S; Ferrere, S; Vittori, K; Latil, G; Dussutour, A; Fourcassié, V

    2015-12-21

    Lane segregation is rarely observed in animals that move in bidirectional flows. Consequently, these animals generally experience a high rate of head-on collisions during their journeys. Although these collisions have a cost (each collision induces a delay resulting in a decrease of individual speed), they could also have a benefit by promoting information transfer between individuals. Here we explore the impact of head-on collisions in leaf-cutting ants moving on foraging trails by artificially decreasing the rate of head-on collisions between individuals. We show that head-on collisions do not influence the rate of recruitment in these ants but do influence foraging efficiency, i.e. the proportion of ants returning to the nest with a leaf fragment. Surprisingly, both unladen and laden ants returning to the nest participate in the modulation of foraging efficiency: foraging efficiency decreases when the rate of contacts with both nestbound laden or unladen ants decreases. These results suggest that outgoing ants are able to collect information from inbound ants even when these latter do not carry any leaf fragment and that this information can influence their foraging decisions when reaching the end of the trail.

  18. Contact rate modulates foraging efficiency in leaf cutting ants

    PubMed Central

    Bouchebti, S.; Ferrere, S.; Vittori, K.; Latil, G.; Dussutour, A.; Fourcassié, V.

    2015-01-01

    Lane segregation is rarely observed in animals that move in bidirectional flows. Consequently, these animals generally experience a high rate of head-on collisions during their journeys. Although these collisions have a cost (each collision induces a delay resulting in a decrease of individual speed), they could also have a benefit by promoting information transfer between individuals. Here we explore the impact of head-on collisions in leaf-cutting ants moving on foraging trails by artificially decreasing the rate of head-on collisions between individuals. We show that head-on collisions do not influence the rate of recruitment in these ants but do influence foraging efficiency, i.e. the proportion of ants returning to the nest with a leaf fragment. Surprisingly, both unladen and laden ants returning to the nest participate in the modulation of foraging efficiency: foraging efficiency decreases when the rate of contacts with both nestbound laden or unladen ants decreases. These results suggest that outgoing ants are able to collect information from inbound ants even when these latter do not carry any leaf fragment and that this information can influence their foraging decisions when reaching the end of the trail. PMID:26686557

  19. Balancing selection shapes density-dependent foraging behaviour.

    PubMed

    Greene, Joshua S; Brown, Maximillian; Dobosiewicz, May; Ishida, Itzel G; Macosko, Evan Z; Zhang, Xinxing; Butcher, Rebecca A; Cline, Devin J; McGrath, Patrick T; Bargmann, Cornelia I

    2016-11-10

    The optimal foraging strategy in a given environment depends on the number of competing individuals and their behavioural strategies. Little is known about the genes and neural circuits that integrate social information into foraging decisions. Here we show that ascaroside pheromones, small glycolipids that signal population density, suppress exploratory foraging in Caenorhabditis elegans, and that heritable variation in this behaviour generates alternative foraging strategies. We find that natural C. elegans isolates differ in their sensitivity to the potent ascaroside icas#9 (IC-asc-C5). A quantitative trait locus (QTL) regulating icas#9 sensitivity includes srx-43, a G-protein-coupled icas#9 receptor that acts in the ASI class of sensory neurons to suppress exploration. Two ancient haplotypes associated with this QTL confer competitive growth advantages that depend on ascaroside secretion, its detection by srx-43 and the distribution of food. These results suggest that balancing selection at the srx-43 locus generates alternative density-dependent behaviours, fulfilling a prediction of foraging game theory.

  20. TILLING in forage grasses for gene discovery and breeding improvement.

    PubMed

    Manzanares, Chloe; Yates, Steven; Ruckle, Michael; Nay, Michelle; Studer, Bruno

    2016-09-25

    Mutation breeding has a long-standing history and in some major crop species, many of the most important cultivars have their origin in germplasm generated by mutation induction. For almost two decades, methods for TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions IN Genomes) have been established in model plant species such as Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana L.), enabling the functional analysis of genes. Recent advances in mutation detection by second generation sequencing technology have brought its utility to major crop species. However, it has remained difficult to apply similar approaches in forage and turf grasses, mainly due to their outbreeding nature maintained by an efficient self-incompatibility system. Starting with a description of the extent to which traditional mutagenesis methods have contributed to crop yield increase in the past, this review focuses on technological approaches to implement TILLING-based strategies for the improvement of forage grass breeding through forward and reverse genetics. We present first results from TILLING in allogamous forage grasses for traits such as stress tolerance and evaluate prospects for rapid implementation of beneficial alleles to forage grass breeding. In conclusion, large-scale induced mutation resources, used for forward genetic screens, constitute a valuable tool to increase the genetic diversity for breeding and can be generated with relatively small investments in forage grasses. Furthermore, large libraries of sequenced mutations can be readily established, providing enhanced opportunities to discover mutations in genes controlling traits of agricultural importance and to study gene functions by reverse genetics.

  1. Foraging area fidelity for Kemp's ridleys in the Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shaver, Donna J.; Hart, Kristen M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Rubio, Cynthia; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Peña, Jaime; Burchfield, Patrick M.; Gamez, Daniel Gomez; Ortiz, Jaime

    2013-01-01

    For many marine species, locations of key foraging areas are not well defined. We used satellite telemetry and switching state-space modeling (SSM) to identify distinct foraging areas used by Kemp's ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) tagged after nesting during 1998–2011 at Padre Island National Seashore, Texas, USA (PAIS; N = 22), and Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas, Mexico (RN; N = 9). Overall, turtles traveled a mean distance of 793.1 km (±347.8 SD) to foraging sites, where 24 of 31 turtles showed foraging area fidelity (FAF) over time (N = 22 in USA, N = 2 in Mexico). Multiple turtles foraged along their migratory route, prior to arrival at their "final" foraging sites. We identified new foraging "hotspots" where adult female Kemp's ridley turtles spent 44% of their time during tracking (i.e., 2641/6009 tracking days in foraging mode). Nearshore Gulf of Mexico waters served as foraging habitat for all turtles tracked in this study; final foraging sites were located in water <68 m deep and a mean distance of 33.2 km (±25.3 SD) from the nearest mainland coast. Distance to release site, distance to mainland shore, annual mean sea surface temperature, bathymetry, and net primary production were significant predictors of sites where turtles spent large numbers of days in foraging mode. Spatial similarity of particular foraging sites selected by different turtles over the 13-year tracking period indicates that these areas represent critical foraging habitat, particularly in waters off Louisiana. Furthermore, the wide distribution of foraging sites indicates that a foraging corridor exists for Kemp's ridleys in the Gulf. Our results highlight the need for further study of environmental and bathymetric components of foraging sites and prey resources contained therein, as well as international cooperation to protect essential at-sea foraging habitats for this imperiled species.

  2. Foraging area fidelity for Kemp's ridleys in the Gulf of Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Shaver, Donna J; Hart, Kristen M; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Rubio, Cynthia; Sartain, Autumn R; Peña, Jaime; Burchfield, Patrick M; Gamez, Daniel Gomez; Ortiz, Jaime

    2013-01-01

    For many marine species, locations of key foraging areas are not well defined. We used satellite telemetry and switching state-space modeling (SSM) to identify distinct foraging areas used by Kemp's ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) tagged after nesting during 1998–2011 at Padre Island National Seashore, Texas, USA (PAIS; N = 22), and Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas, Mexico (RN; N = 9). Overall, turtles traveled a mean distance of 793.1 km (±347.8 SD) to foraging sites, where 24 of 31 turtles showed foraging area fidelity (FAF) over time (N = 22 in USA, N = 2 in Mexico). Multiple turtles foraged along their migratory route, prior to arrival at their “final” foraging sites. We identified new foraging “hotspots” where adult female Kemp's ridley turtles spent 44% of their time during tracking (i.e., 2641/6009 tracking days in foraging mode). Nearshore Gulf of Mexico waters served as foraging habitat for all turtles tracked in this study; final foraging sites were located in water <68 m deep and a mean distance of 33.2 km (±25.3 SD) from the nearest mainland coast. Distance to release site, distance to mainland shore, annual mean sea surface temperature, bathymetry, and net primary production were significant predictors of sites where turtles spent large numbers of days in foraging mode. Spatial similarity of particular foraging sites selected by different turtles over the 13-year tracking period indicates that these areas represent critical foraging habitat, particularly in waters off Louisiana. Furthermore, the wide distribution of foraging sites indicates that a foraging corridor exists for Kemp's ridleys in the Gulf. Our results highlight the need for further study of environmental and bathymetric components of foraging sites and prey resources contained therein, as well as international cooperation to protect essential at-sea foraging habitats for this imperiled species. PMID:23919146

  3. Foraging area fidelity for Kemp's ridleys in the Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Shaver, Donna J; Hart, Kristen M; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Rubio, Cynthia; Sartain, Autumn R; Peña, Jaime; Burchfield, Patrick M; Gamez, Daniel Gomez; Ortiz, Jaime

    2013-07-01

    For many marine species, locations of key foraging areas are not well defined. We used satellite telemetry and switching state-space modeling (SSM) to identify distinct foraging areas used by Kemp's ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) tagged after nesting during 1998-2011 at Padre Island National Seashore, Texas, USA (PAIS; N = 22), and Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas, Mexico (RN; N = 9). Overall, turtles traveled a mean distance of 793.1 km (±347.8 SD) to foraging sites, where 24 of 31 turtles showed foraging area fidelity (FAF) over time (N = 22 in USA, N = 2 in Mexico). Multiple turtles foraged along their migratory route, prior to arrival at their "final" foraging sites. We identified new foraging "hotspots" where adult female Kemp's ridley turtles spent 44% of their time during tracking (i.e., 2641/6009 tracking days in foraging mode). Nearshore Gulf of Mexico waters served as foraging habitat for all turtles tracked in this study; final foraging sites were located in water <68 m deep and a mean distance of 33.2 km (±25.3 SD) from the nearest mainland coast. Distance to release site, distance to mainland shore, annual mean sea surface temperature, bathymetry, and net primary production were significant predictors of sites where turtles spent large numbers of days in foraging mode. Spatial similarity of particular foraging sites selected by different turtles over the 13-year tracking period indicates that these areas represent critical foraging habitat, particularly in waters off Louisiana. Furthermore, the wide distribution of foraging sites indicates that a foraging corridor exists for Kemp's ridleys in the Gulf. Our results highlight the need for further study of environmental and bathymetric components of foraging sites and prey resources contained therein, as well as international cooperation to protect essential at-sea foraging habitats for this imperiled species.

  4. The Müller-Lyer illusion in ant foraging.

    PubMed

    Sakiyama, Tomoko; Gunji, Yukio-Pegio

    2013-01-01

    The Müller-Lyer illusion is a classical geometric illusion in which the apparent (perceived) length of a line depends on whether the line terminates in an arrow tail or arrowhead. This effect may be caused by economic compensation for the gap between the physical stimulus and visual fields. Here, we show that the Müller-Lyer illusion can also be produced by the foraging patterns of garden ants (Lasius niger) and that the pattern obtained can be explained by a simple, asynchronously updated foraging ant model. Our results suggest that the geometric illusion may be a byproduct of the foraging process, in which local interactions underlying efficient exploitation can also give rise to global exploration, and that visual information processing in human could implement similar modulation between local efficient processing and widespread computation.

  5. The influence of forage diets and aging on beef palatability.

    PubMed

    Jiang, T; Busboom, J R; Nelson, M L; O'Fallon, J; Ringkob, T P; Rogers-Klette, K R; Joos, D; Piper, K

    2010-11-01

    To investigate the influence of diet and aging on beef palatability, lipid oxidative stability, and fatty acid composition, crossbred steers were assigned to Feedlot S (alfalfa and grain), Forage TR (triticale and annual ryegrass), Forage TK (triticale and kale), or Forage+Feedlot (grazing ryegrass, fescue and orchardgrass, finished on alfalfa and grain) dietary treatments. Heifers were finished on Feedlot H (alfalfa and grain). Longissimus and tricep muscles were sampled from these animals for steaks and ground beef, respectively. Steaks were either dry- or wet-aged for 14 d. Ground beef was dry-aged, wet-aged for 14 d, or not aged. Trained sensory panelists evaluated palatability attributes of steaks and ground beef. Diet did not influence sensory attributes of steaks or ground beef. Aging impacted (P<0.05) sensory attributes of ground beef. Diet and aging had no impact on lipid oxidative stability but affected fatty acid composition of raw ground beef.

  6. Location and foraging as basis for classification of biotic interactions.

    PubMed

    Khabibullin, Viner F

    2016-06-01

    Ecologists face an overwhelming diversity of ecological relationships in natural communities. In this paper, I propose to differentiate various types of the interspecific relations on the basis of two factors: relative localization and foraging activity of interacting partners. I advocate recognition of four types of environments: internal, surface, proximate external and distant external. Then I distinguish four types of synoikia-one partner lives in different degree of proximity to another; and four types of synmensalism: one partner forages in different degree of proximity to another. Intersection of localization-based (four subtypes of synoikia) and foraging-based (four subtypes of synmensalism) rows results in 16 types of interactions. This scheme can serve as a framework that manages diverse biotic interactions in a standardized way. I have made the first step to set up nomenclature standards for terms describing interspecific interactions and hope that this will facilitate research and communication.

  7. Neuronal mechanism for acute mechanosensitivity in tactile-foraging waterfowl

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Eve R.; Mastrotto, Marco; Laursen, Willem J.; Schulz, Vincent P.; Goodman, Jena B.; Funk, Owen H.; Gallagher, Patrick G.; Gracheva, Elena O.; Bagriantsev, Sviatoslav N.

    2014-01-01

    Relying almost exclusively on their acute sense of touch, tactile-foraging birds can feed in murky water, but the cellular mechanism is unknown. Mechanical stimuli activate specialized cutaneous end organs in the bill, innervated by trigeminal afferents. We report that trigeminal ganglia (TG) of domestic and wild tactile-foraging ducks exhibit numerical expansion of large-diameter mechanoreceptive neurons expressing the mechano-gated ion channel Piezo2. These features are not found in visually foraging birds. Moreover, in the duck, the expansion of mechanoreceptors occurs at the expense of thermosensors. Direct mechanical stimulation of duck TG neurons evokes high-amplitude depolarizing current with a low threshold of activation, high signal amplification gain, and slow kinetics of inactivation. Together, these factors contribute to efficient conversion of light mechanical stimuli into neuronal excitation. Our results reveal an evolutionary strategy to hone tactile perception in vertebrates at the level of primary afferents. PMID:25246547

  8. Nodulation study of natural forage legume in semiarid region, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Küçük, Ciğdem; Cevheri, Cenap

    2014-04-01

    In this study, we investigated the natural nodulation of legume forage crops were widely grown in the natural pastures in Sanliurfa, Turkey. This legume forage crops are Vicia sativa L. subsp. sativa L., Vicia narbonensis L. var. narbonensis L., Vicia palaestina Boiss., Vicia hybrida L., Vicia lutea L. var. lutea Boiss. ET Ball., Pisum sativum L. subsp. sativum L. var. sativum L, Cicer echinospermum P.H. Davis, Trifolium tomentosum L., Trifolium retusum L., Trifolium campestre SCHREB., Medicago truncatula GAERTN. var. truncatula Schultz Bip., Trigonella mesopotamica Hub.-Mor., Lens culinaris Medik., Onobrychis crista-galli, Lathyrus cassius Boiss., Melilotus officinalis (L.) DESR., Coronilla scorpioides (L.) W.D.J. Koch. Nodulation, nodule colors and shapes were examined at the blooming period of forage legumes. In this study, the colour of the interior of nodules are pink-red colour and may be related to high rates of nitrogen fixation in legume crops.

  9. Optimal foraging for specific nutrients in predatory beetles.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Kim; Mayntz, David; Toft, Søren; Clissold, Fiona J; Hunt, John; Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen J

    2012-06-07

    Evolutionary theory predicts that animals should forage to maximize their fitness, which in predators is traditionally assumed equivalent to maximizing energy intake rather than balancing the intake of specific nutrients. We restricted female predatory ground beetles (Anchomenus dorsalis) to one of a range of diets varying in lipid and protein content, and showed that total egg production peaked at a target intake of both nutrients. Other beetles given a choice to feed from two diets differing only in protein and lipid composition selectively ingested nutrient combinations at this target intake. When restricted to nutritionally imbalanced diets, beetles balanced the over- and under-ingestion of lipid and protein around a nutrient composition that maximized egg production under those constrained circumstances. Selective foraging for specific nutrients in this predator thus maximizes its reproductive performance. Our findings have implications for predator foraging behaviour and in the structuring of ecological communities.

  10. Determination of Phytoestrogen Content in Fresh-Cut Legume Forage

    PubMed Central

    Hloucalová, Pavlína; Skládanka, Jiří; Horký, Pavel; Klejdus, Bořivoj; Pelikán, Jan; Knotová, Daniela

    2016-01-01

    Simple Summary Phytoestrogens comprise a group of substances negatively influencing the development and function of animal reproductive organs. Their appearance in forage crops can reduce feeding values, cause dietary disorders, and lead to animal health damage. This study evaluated the occurrence of individual phytoestrogens in various species of annual and perennial legumes and their levels in dry forage. It appeared that feeding large amounts of red clover presents a potential risk, but red clover can be replaced with the annual Persian clover, in which markedly lower phytoestrogen levels were detected. Abstract The aim of the study was to determine phytoestrogen content in fresh-cut legume forage. This issue has been much discussed in recent years in connection with the health and safety of feedstuffs and thus livestock health. The experiments were carried out on two experimental plots at Troubsko and Vatín, Czech Republic during June and July in 2015. Samples were collected of the four forage legume species perennial red clover (variety “Amos”), alfalfa (variety “Holyně”), and annuals Persian clover and Alexandrian clover. Forage was sampled twice at regular three to four day intervals leading up to harvest and a third time on the day of harvest. Fresh and wilted material was analyzed using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Higher levels (p < 0.05) of isoflavones biochanin A (3.697 mg·g−1 of dry weight) and formononetin (4.315 mg·g−1 of dry weight) were found in red clover than in other species. The highest isoflavone content was detected in red clover, reaching 1.001% of dry matter (p < 0.05), representing a risk for occurrence of reproduction problems and inhibited secretion of animal estrogen. The phytoestrogen content was particularly increased in wilted forage. Significant isoflavone reduction was observed over three to four day intervals leading up to harvest. PMID:27429009

  11. Contrafreeloading in grizzly bears: implications for captive foraging enrichment.

    PubMed

    McGowan, Ragen T S; Robbins, Charles T; Alldredge, J Richard; Newberry, Ruth C

    2010-01-01

    Although traditional feeding regimens for captive animals were focused on meeting physiological needs to assure good health, more recently emphasis has also been placed on non-nutritive aspects of feeding. The provision of foraging materials to diversify feeding behavior is a common practice in zoos but selective consumption of foraging enrichment items over more balanced "chow" diets could lead to nutrient imbalance. One alternative is to provide balanced diets in a contrafreeloading paradigm. Contrafreeloading occurs when animals choose resources that require effort to exploit when identical resources are freely available. To investigate contrafreeloading and its potential as a theoretical foundation for foraging enrichment, we conducted two experiments with captive grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis). In Experiment 1, bears were presented with five foraging choices simultaneously: apples, apples in ice, salmon, salmon in ice, and plain ice under two levels of food restriction. Two measures of contrafreeloading were considered: weight of earned food consumed and time spent working for earned food. More free than earned food was eaten, with only two bears consuming food extracted from ice, but all bears spent more time manipulating ice containing salmon or apples than plain ice regardless of level of food restriction. In Experiment 2, food-restricted bears were presented with three foraging choices simultaneously: apples, apples inside a box, and an empty box. Although they ate more free than earned food, five bears consumed food from boxes and all spent more time manipulating boxes containing apples than empty boxes. Our findings support the provision of contrafreeloading opportunities as a foraging enrichment strategy for captive wildlife.

  12. Attraction of Vespula germanica (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) foragers by conspecific heads.

    PubMed

    d'Adamo, P; Corley, J C; Lozada, M

    2001-08-01

    The socialwasp Vespula germanica (F.) is a serious pest in many regions it has invaded. Control programs to reduce its populations are commonly based on the use of poison baits. These baits also attract nonpestiferous invertebrates and vertebrates. In this work we studied the attraction of V. germanica foragers by conspecific worker squashes, comparing the effect of head and abdomen squashes in wasps behavior. We found that head squashes attract V. germanica foragers, elicit landing and transportation to nests. Furthermore, the addition of squashed heads to a protein bait increased attraction. This could be an alternative to improve baiting programs.

  13. Forage use to improve environmental sustainability of ruminant production.

    PubMed

    Guyader, J; Janzen, H H; Kroebel, R; Beauchemin, K A

    2016-08-01

    Ruminants raised for meat and milk are important sources of protein in human diets worldwide. Their unique digestive system allows them to derive energy and nourishment from forages, making use of vast areas of grazing lands not suitable for arable cropping or biofuel production and avoiding direct competition for grain that can be used as human food. However, sustaining an ever-growing population of ruminants consuming forages poses a dilemma: while exploiting their ecological niche, forage-fed ruminants produce large amount of enteric methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Resolving this quandary would allow ruminants an expanded role in meeting growing global demands for livestock products. One way around the dilemma is to devise forage-based diets and feeding systems that reduce methane emissions per unit of milk or meat produced. Ongoing research has made significant strides toward this objective. A wider opportunity is to look beyond methane emissions alone and consider all greenhouse gas emissions from the entire livestock-producing system. For example, by raising ruminants in systems using forages, some of the methane emissions can be offset by preserving or enhancing soil carbon reserves, thereby withholding carbon dioxide from the air. Similarly, well-managed systems based on forages may reduce synthetic fertilizer use by more effective use of manure and nitrogen-fixing plants, thereby curtailing nitrous oxide emissions. The potential environmental benefits of forage-based systems may be expanded even further by considering their other ecological benefits, such as conserving biodiversity, improving soil health, enhancing water quality, and providing wildlife habitat. The quandary, then, can be alleviated by managing ruminants within a holistic land-livestock synchrony that considers not only methane emissions but also suppression of other greenhouse gases as well as other ecological benefits. Given the complexity of such systems, there likely are no singular

  14. Children on the reef : Slow learning or strategic foraging?

    PubMed

    Bird, Douglas W; Bliege Bird, Rebecca

    2002-06-01

    Meriam children are active reef-flat collectors. We demonstrate that while foraging on the reef, children are significantly less selective than adults. This difference and the precise nature of children's selectivity while reef-flat collecting are consistent with a hypothesis that both children and adults attempt to maximize their rate of return while foraging, but in so doing they face different constraints relative to differences in walking speeds while searching. Implications of these results for general arguments about factors that shape differences between child and adult behavior and human life-histories are explored.

  15. Foraging reactivation in the honeybee Apis mellifera L.: factors affecting the return to known nectar sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gil, Mariana; Farina, Walter Marcelo

    2002-05-01

    This paper addresses, what determines that experienced forager honeybees return to places where they have previously exploited nectar. Although there was already some evidence that dance and trophallaxis can cause bees to return to feed, the fraction of unemployed foragers that follow dance or receive food from employed foragers before revisiting the feeder was unknown. We found that 27% of the experienced foragers had no contact with the returning foragers inside the hive. The most common interactions were dance following (64%) and trophallaxis (21%). The great variability found in the amount of interactions suggests that individual bees require different stimulation before changing to the foraging mode. This broad disparity negatively correlated with the number of days after marking at the feeder, a variable that is closely related to the foraging experience, suggesting that a temporal variable might affect the decision-making in reactivated foragers.

  16. 78 FR 23738 - Monsanto Company and Forage Genetics International (FGI); Availability of Petition for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-22

    ... Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Monsanto Company and Forage Genetics International (FGI... Company and Forage Genetics International (FGI) seeking a determination of nonregulated status of alfalfa... Genetics International (FGI) seeking a determination of nonregulated status of alfalfa designated as...

  17. The Physiological Suppressing Factors of Dry Forage Intake and the Cause of Water Intake Following Dry Forage Feeding in Goats — A Review

    PubMed Central

    Sunagawa, Katsunori; Nagamine, Itsuki

    2016-01-01

    The goats raised in the barn are usually fed on fresh grass. As dry forage can be stored for long periods in large amounts, dry forage feeding makes it possible to feed large numbers of goats in barns. This review explains the physiological factors involved in suppressing dry forage intake and the cause of drinking following dry forage feeding. Ruminants consume an enormous amount of dry forage in a short time. Eating rates of dry forage rapidly decreased in the first 40 min of feeding and subsequently declined gradually to low states in the remaining time of the feeding period. Saliva in large-type goats is secreted in large volume during the first hour after the commencement of dry forage feeding. It was elucidated that the marked suppression of dry forage intake during the first hour was caused by a feeding-induced hypovolemia and the loss of NaHCO3 due to excessive salivation during the initial stages of dry forage feeding. On the other hand, it was indicated that the marked decrease in feed intake observed in the second hour of the 2 h feeding period was related to ruminal distension caused by the feed consumed and the copious amount of saliva secreted during dry forage feeding. In addition, results indicate that the marked decreases in dry forage intake after 40 min of feeding are caused by increases in plasma osmolality and subsequent thirst sensations produced by dry forage feeding. After 40 min of the 2 h dry forage feeding period, the feed salt content is absorbed into the rumen and plasma osmolality increases. The combined effects of ruminal distension and increased plasma osmolality accounted for 77.6% of the suppression of dry forage intake 40 min after the start of dry forage feeding. The results indicate that ruminal distension and increased plasma osmolality are the main physiological factors in suppression of dry forage intake in large-type goats. There was very little drinking behavior observed during the first hour of the 2 h feeding period most

  18. The Physiological Suppressing Factors of Dry Forage Intake and the Cause of Water Intake Following Dry Forage Feeding in Goats - A Review.

    PubMed

    Sunagawa, Katsunori; Nagamine, Itsuki

    2016-02-01

    The goats raised in the barn are usually fed on fresh grass. As dry forage can be stored for long periods in large amounts, dry forage feeding makes it possible to feed large numbers of goats in barns. This review explains the physiological factors involved in suppressing dry forage intake and the cause of drinking following dry forage feeding. Ruminants consume an enormous amount of dry forage in a short time. Eating rates of dry forage rapidly decreased in the first 40 min of feeding and subsequently declined gradually to low states in the remaining time of the feeding period. Saliva in large-type goats is secreted in large volume during the first hour after the commencement of dry forage feeding. It was elucidated that the marked suppression of dry forage intake during the first hour was caused by a feeding-induced hypovolemia and the loss of NaHCO3 due to excessive salivation during the initial stages of dry forage feeding. On the other hand, it was indicated that the marked decrease in feed intake observed in the second hour of the 2 h feeding period was related to ruminal distension caused by the feed consumed and the copious amount of saliva secreted during dry forage feeding. In addition, results indicate that the marked decreases in dry forage intake after 40 min of feeding are caused by increases in plasma osmolality and subsequent thirst sensations produced by dry forage feeding. After 40 min of the 2 h dry forage feeding period, the feed salt content is absorbed into the rumen and plasma osmolality increases. The combined effects of ruminal distension and increased plasma osmolality accounted for 77.6% of the suppression of dry forage intake 40 min after the start of dry forage feeding. The results indicate that ruminal distension and increased plasma osmolality are the main physiological factors in suppression of dry forage intake in large-type goats. There was very little drinking behavior observed during the first hour of the 2 h feeding period most

  19. Effects of starch source and level of forage neutral detergent fiber on performance by dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Slater, A L; Eastridge, M L; Firkins, J L; Bidinger, L J

    2000-02-01

    The effectiveness of neutral detergent fiber (NDF) from soyhulls and whole cottonseed for replacing NDF from forage was evaluated in a lactation trial during wk 10 to 25 of lactation. Forty-eight cows were blocked and randomly assigned within a block to one of four diets: 1) 21% forage NDF with corn 2) 16% forage NDF with corn, 3) 16% forage NDF with corn and wheat (1:1) and, 4) 11% forage NDF with cottonseed and corn. Soybean hulls were added at approximately 23.0% of dry matter (DM) for the 16 and 11% forage NDF diets to replace forage and formulate diets with 35% nonfiber carbohydrates. Actual forage NDF concentration were 17.8, 14.0, 13.9, and 9.4%, respectively. Dry matter intake and milk yield were highest for cows fed 11% forage NDF with cottonseed. Milk fat percentage was higher for cows consuming 21% forage NDF and 16% forage NDF with corn than for cows fed the two other diets. Cows fed 16% forage NDF with corn and wheat experienced milk fat-protein inversion, but ruminal acetate:propionate was lower for cows fed 11% forage NDF than cows fed 16% forage NDF. Body weight (BW) and BW change were not different among treatments. Time spent chewing was similar among all diets. For cows in midlactation, forage NDF may be reduced to 9 to 11% when cottonseed is at 11% of DM and dietary nonstructural carbohydrates are at 30% of DM. Forage NDF may be reduced to 14 to 16% without cottonseed when nonstructural carbohydrates are at 30% of DM.

  20. Modeling of Habitat and Foraging Behavior of Beaked Whales in the Southern California Bight

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. FINAL REPORT Modeling of Habitat and Foraging Behavior of...whale distribution and foraging behavior and to describe inter-specific differences. We investigated spatio-temporal patterns for Cuvier’s beaked whale...distribution and foraging behavior and to describe inter-specific differences. Knowledge about foraging behavior and habitat preference and

  1. Forage nutritive value of plant samples collected by clipping or rumen evacuation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Knowing nutritive value and intake of forage by an animal is important to understand methane production data from individual animals in a grazed environment. Digestibility of forages is typically evaluated as the in vitro dry matter disappearance (IVDMD) using a clipped forage sample; however, beef...

  2. Net effects of nitrogen fertilization on the nutritive value and digestibility of oat forages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Applications of soil amendments containing N are part of routine forage management strategies for grasses, with a primary goal of increasing forage yield. However, the effects of N fertilization on forage nutritive value, estimates of energy density, and in-vitro DM or NDF disappearance often have b...

  3. 7 CFR 407.13 - Area risk protection insurance for forage.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ..., and rotational grazing. Rotational grazing. The defoliation of the insured forage by livestock, within... moved from one area to another, allowing a period of grazing followed by a period for forage regrowth. 2. Insured Crop The insured crop will be the forage types shown on the actuarial documents: (a) Grown...

  4. FORBEEF: A Forage-Livestock System Computer Model Used as a Teaching Aid for Decision Making.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stringer, W. C.; And Others

    1987-01-01

    Describes the development of a computer simulation model of forage-beef production systems, which is intended to incorporate soil, forage, and animal decisions into an enterprise scenario. Produces a summary of forage production and livestock needs. Cites positive assessment of the program's value by participants in inservice training workshops.…

  5. 21 CFR 573.400 - Ethoxyquin in certain dehydrated forage crops.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... and vitamin E in the forage crops. (c) It is added to the dehydrated forage crops in an oil mixture containing only suitable animal or suitable vegetable oil, prior to grinding and mixing. (d) The maximum... vegetable oils are to be used in the oil mix. (f) The label of any dehydrated forage crops treated with...

  6. 21 CFR 573.400 - Ethoxyquin in certain dehydrated forage crops.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... and vitamin E in the forage crops. (c) It is added to the dehydrated forage crops in an oil mixture containing only suitable animal or suitable vegetable oil, prior to grinding and mixing. (d) The maximum... vegetable oils are to be used in the oil mix. (f) The label of any dehydrated forage crops treated with...

  7. 21 CFR 573.400 - Ethoxyquin in certain dehydrated forage crops.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... and vitamin E in the forage crops. (c) It is added to the dehydrated forage crops in an oil mixture containing only suitable animal or suitable vegetable oil, prior to grinding and mixing. (d) The maximum... vegetable oils are to be used in the oil mix. (f) The label of any dehydrated forage crops treated with...

  8. 21 CFR 573.400 - Ethoxyquin in certain dehydrated forage crops.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... and vitamin E in the forage crops. (c) It is added to the dehydrated forage crops in an oil mixture containing only suitable animal or suitable vegetable oil, prior to grinding and mixing. (d) The maximum... vegetable oils are to be used in the oil mix. (f) The label of any dehydrated forage crops treated with...

  9. [Study on foraging behaviors of honeybee Apis mellifera based on RFID technology].

    PubMed

    Tian, Liu-Qing; He, Xu-Jiang; Wu, Xiao-Bo; Gan, Hai-Yan; Han, Xu; Liu, Hao; Zeng, Zhi-Jiang

    2014-03-01

    Honeybee foragers can flexibly adjust their out-hive activities to ensure growth and reproduction of the colony. In order to explore the characteristics of honey bees foraging behaviors, in this study, their flight activities were monitored 24 hours per day for a duration of 38 days, using an radio frequency identification (RFID) system designed and manufactured by the Honeybee Research Institute of Jiangxi Agricultural University in cooperation with the Guangzhou Invengo Information Technology Co., Ltd. Our results indicated that 63.4% and 64.5% of foragers were found rotating more than one day off during the foraging period in two colonies, and 22.5% and 26.4% of the total foraging days were used for rest respectively. Further, although the total foraging time between rotating day-off foragers and continuously working foragers was equal, the former had a significant longer lifespan than the latter. Additionally, the lifespan of the early developed foragers was significantly lower than that of the normally developed foragers. This study enriched the content of foraging behaviors of honey bees, and it could be used as the basis for the further explorations on evolutionary mechanism of foraging behaviors of eusocial insects.

  10. A Preliminary Investigation into Forage Quality Attributes of Several Native Eastern Savanna Species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Introduction: Nutritive attributes of traditional forages are well documented, and benefits of forage condensed tannins (CT) for ruminants have been the subject of numerous investigations. The number of tanniferous forage species that are adapted to humid, temperate climates is limited, and the ro...

  11. Application of a rising plate meter to estimate forage yield on dairy farms in Pennsylvania

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Accurately assessing pasture forage yield is necessary for producers who want to budget feed expenses and make informed pasture management decisions. Clipping and weighing forage from a known area is a direct method to measure pasture forage yield, however it is time consuming. The rising plate mete...

  12. Breeding Better Forages to Help Feed Man and Preserve and Enhance the Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burton, Glenn W.

    1973-01-01

    Discusses the importance of forages in agriculture, and expresses the need for the same high level of technology that is used in the production of corn, wheat, and rice to be applied to forage production. Describes promising forage species, breeding objectives, and breeding procedures used in research. (JR)

  13. Interspecies variation of forage nutritive value and nonstructural carbohydrates in perennial cool-season grasses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forage nitrogen (N) and nonstructural carbohydrate (NSC) concentrations are important indicators of forage quality, and knowledge of N and NSC variation among grass germplasm is one element to consider in developing a successful forage and livestock management program. An experiment was conducted in...

  14. Forage yield, weed suppression and fertilizer nitrogen replacement value (FNRV) of alfalfa-tall fescue mixtures

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Adding plant diversity to forage systems may help growers deal with increasing fertilizer costs and a more variable climate. Maintaining highly diverse forage mixtures in forage-livestock production is difficult and may warrant a closer reexamination of simpler grass-legume mixtures to achieve simi...

  15. Use of Urban Marine Habitats by Foraging Wading Birds

    EPA Science Inventory

    Wading birds that utilize coastal habitats may be at risk from increasing urbanization near their foraging and stopover sites. However, the relative importance of human disturbance in the context of other landscape and biological factors that may be influencing their distributio...

  16. Optimal foraging, not biogenetic law, predicts spider orb web allometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gregorič, Matjaž; Kiesbüy, Heine C.; Quiñones Lebrón, Shakira G.; Rozman, Alenka; Agnarsson, Ingi; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2013-03-01

    The biogenetic law posits that the ontogeny of an organism recapitulates the pattern of evolutionary changes. Morphological evidence has offered some support for, but also considerable evidence against, the hypothesis. However, biogenetic law in behavior remains underexplored. As physical manifestation of behavior, spider webs offer an interesting model for the study of ontogenetic behavioral changes. In orb-weaving spiders, web symmetry often gets distorted through ontogeny, and these changes have been interpreted to reflect the biogenetic law. Here, we test the biogenetic law hypothesis against the alternative, the optimal foraging hypothesis, by studying the allometry in Leucauge venusta orb webs. These webs range in inclination from vertical through tilted to horizontal; biogenetic law predicts that allometry relates to ontogenetic stage, whereas optimal foraging predicts that allometry relates to gravity. Specifically, pronounced asymmetry should only be seen in vertical webs under optimal foraging theory. We show that, through ontogeny, vertical webs in L. venusta become more asymmetrical in contrast to tilted and horizontal webs. Biogenetic law thus cannot explain L. venusta web allometry, but our results instead support optimization of foraging area in response to spider size.

  17. Optimal foraging, not biogenetic law, predicts spider orb web allometry.

    PubMed

    Gregorič, Matjaž; Kiesbüy, Heine C; Lebrón, Shakira G Quiñones; Rozman, Alenka; Agnarsson, Ingi; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2013-03-01

    The biogenetic law posits that the ontogeny of an organism recapitulates the pattern of evolutionary changes. Morphological evidence has offered some support for, but also considerable evidence against, the hypothesis. However, biogenetic law in behavior remains underexplored. As physical manifestation of behavior, spider webs offer an interesting model for the study of ontogenetic behavioral changes. In orb-weaving spiders, web symmetry often gets distorted through ontogeny, and these changes have been interpreted to reflect the biogenetic law. Here, we test the biogenetic law hypothesis against the alternative, the optimal foraging hypothesis, by studying the allometry in Leucauge venusta orb webs. These webs range in inclination from vertical through tilted to horizontal; biogenetic law predicts that allometry relates to ontogenetic stage, whereas optimal foraging predicts that allometry relates to gravity. Specifically, pronounced asymmetry should only be seen in vertical webs under optimal foraging theory. We show that, through ontogeny, vertical webs in L. venusta become more asymmetrical in contrast to tilted and horizontal webs. Biogenetic law thus cannot explain L. venusta web allometry, but our results instead support optimization of foraging area in response to spider size.

  18. Can we measure carrying capacity with foraging behavior?

    PubMed

    Morris, Douglas W; Mukherjee, Shomen

    2007-03-01

    Carrying capacity is one of the most important, yet least understood and rarely estimated, parameters in population management and modeling. A simple behavioral metric of carrying capacity would advance theory, conservation, and management of biological populations. Such a metric should be possible because behavior is finely attuned to variation in environment including population density. We connect optimal foraging theory with population dynamics and life history to develop a simple model that predicts this sort of adaptive density-dependent change in food consumption. We then confirm the model's unexpected and manifold predictions with field experiments. The theory predicts reproductive thresholds that alter the marginal value of energy as well as the value of time. Both effects cause a pronounced discontinuity in quitting-harvest rate that we revealed with foraging experiments. Red-backed voles maintained across a range of high densities foraged at a lower density-dependent rate than the same animals exposed to low-density treatments. The change in harvest rate is diagnostic of populations that exceed their carrying capacity. Ecologists, conservation biologists, and wildlife managers may thus be able to use simple and efficient foraging experiments to estimate carrying capacity and habitat quality.

  19. Pollinator Foraging Adaptation and Coexistence of Competing Plants

    PubMed Central

    Revilla, Tomás A.; Křivan, Vlastimil

    2016-01-01

    We use the optimal foraging theory to study coexistence between two plant species and a generalist pollinator. We compare conditions for plant coexistence for non-adaptive vs. adaptive pollinators that adjust their foraging strategy to maximize fitness. When pollinators have fixed preferences, we show that plant coexistence typically requires both weak competition between plants for resources (e.g., space or nutrients) and pollinator preferences that are not too biased in favour of either plant. We also show how plant coexistence is promoted by indirect facilitation via the pollinator. When pollinators are adaptive foragers, pollinator’s diet maximizes pollinator’s fitness measured as the per capita population growth rate. Simulations show that this has two conflicting consequences for plant coexistence. On the one hand, when competition between pollinators is weak, adaptation favours pollinator specialization on the more profitable plant which increases asymmetries in plant competition and makes their coexistence less likely. On the other hand, when competition between pollinators is strong, adaptation promotes generalism, which facilitates plant coexistence. In addition, adaptive foraging allows pollinators to survive sudden loss of the preferred plant host, thus preventing further collapse of the entire community. PMID:27505254

  20. Potential energetic effects of mountain climbers on foraging grizzly bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, D.; Kendall, K.C.; Picton, H.D.

    1999-01-01

    Most studies of the effects of human disturbance on grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) have not quantified the energetic effects of such interactions. In this study, we characterized activity budgets of adult grizzly bears as they foraged on aggregations of adult army cutworm moths (Euxoa auxiliaris) in the alpine of Glacier National Park, Montana, during 1992, 1994, and 1995. We compared the activity budgets of climber-disturbed bears to those of undisturbed bears to estimate the energetic impact of climber disturbance. When bears detected climbers, they subsequently spent 53% less time foraging on moths, 52% more time moving within the foraging area, and 23% more time behaving aggressively, compared to when they were not disturbed. We estimated that grizzly bears could consume approximately 40,000 moths/day or 1,700 moths/hour. At 0.44 kcal/moth, disruption of moth feeding cost bears approximately 12 kcal/minute in addition to the energy expended in evasive maneuvers and defensive behaviors. To reduce both climber interruption of bear foraging and the potential for aggressive bear-human encounters, we recommend routing climbers around moth sites used by bears or limiting access to these sites during bear-use periods.

  1. Diet niches of major forage fish in Lake Michigan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davis, B.M.; Savino, J.F.; Ogilvie, L.M.; ,

    2007-01-01

    A large complex of coregonine species historically dominated the fish community of Lake Michigan. The current species complex is simplified with one remaining coregonine, bloater (Coregonus hoyi), deepwater sculpin (Myoxocephalus thompsoni), slimy sculpin (Cottus cognatus), and two dominant invaders, alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax). To better understand the diet relationships of the major offshore forage fishes now in Lake Michigan, diets of bloater, alewife, rainbow smelt, deepwater sculpin, and slimy sculpin were compared. The three sites, chosen to represent northern, central, and southern components of the lake, were sampled during spring, summer, and fall in 1994, and spring and fall in 1995. Forage fishes had diverse and variable diets, with niches differentiated by prey type or location. Diporeia hoyi, Mysis relicta, and zooplankton were the major diet items. The index of relative importance showed benthic (slimy and deepwater sculpins) and pelagic (alewife, rainbow smelt) feeding strategies with opportunistic bloaters incorporating both feeding strategies. Highest diet overlaps were between species of sculpin, and between large and small bloaters; both groups partitioned food by size. Though competition for food may be minimized by spatial segregation of potential competitors, the forage fish in Lake Michigan apparently partition food resources. Fishery management models incorporating food habits of pelagic forage fish would need to take into account diet variation associated with location and season. ?? 2007 E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung.

  2. Improving yield and protein content of forages under flooded condition

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Flooding can have catastrophic impacts on the productivity of arable farmland, grassland pastures, as most crops including forages are intolerant to excess water. The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of flooding duration and nitrogen (N) fertilization on dry matter yield (DMY) a...

  3. Optimizing eastern gamagrass forage harvests using growing degree days

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tripsacum dactyloides (L.) L., commonly known as eastern gamagrass is useful for grazing, stored forage, soil amelioration and conservation, and potentially as a biofuel feedstock. Our goal was to calculate accumulated growing degree days (GDD) from existing datasets collected for eastern gamagrass...

  4. Honeybee economics: optimisation of foraging in a variable world.

    PubMed

    Stabentheiner, Anton; Kovac, Helmut

    2016-06-20

    In honeybees fast and efficient exploitation of nectar and pollen sources is achieved by persistent endothermy throughout the foraging cycle, which means extremely high energy costs. The need for food promotes maximisation of the intake rate, and the high costs call for energetic optimisation. Experiments on how honeybees resolve this conflict have to consider that foraging takes place in a variable environment concerning microclimate and food quality and availability. Here we report, in simultaneous measurements of energy costs, gains, and intake rate and efficiency, how honeybee foragers manage this challenge in their highly variable environment. If possible, during unlimited sucrose flow, they follow an 'investment-guided' ('time is honey') economic strategy promising increased returns. They maximise net intake rate by investing both own heat production and solar heat to increase body temperature to a level which guarantees a high suction velocity. They switch to an 'economizing' ('save the honey') optimisation of energetic efficiency if the intake rate is restricted by the food source when an increased body temperature would not guarantee a high intake rate. With this flexible and graded change between economic strategies honeybees can do both maximise colony intake rate and optimise foraging efficiency in reaction to environmental variation.

  5. Germplasm evaluation of Rhizoma peanut for growth and forage potential.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rhizoma peanut (Arachis glabrata Benth.) is a warm-season perennial forage legume, adapted to southern USA. It has similar dry matter (DM) and nutritive value to alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Recent studies indicated that rhizoma peanut can be grown further north (zone '8b) than previously suggest...

  6. Green crab (Carcinus maenas) foraging efficiency reduced by fast flows.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Elizabeth M; Smee, Delbert L; Trussell, Geoffrey C

    2011-01-01

    Predators can strongly influence prey populations and the structure and function of ecosystems, but these effects can be modified by environmental stress. For example, fluid velocity and turbulence can alter the impact of predators by limiting their environmental range and altering their foraging ability. We investigated how hydrodynamics affected the foraging behavior of the green crab (Carcinus maenas), which is invading marine habitats throughout the world. High flow velocities are known to reduce green crab predation rates and our study sought to identify the mechanisms by which flow affects green crabs. We performed a series of experiments with green crabs to determine: 1) if their ability to find prey was altered by flow in the field, 2) how flow velocity influenced their foraging efficiency, and 3) how flow velocity affected their handling time of prey. In a field study, we caught significantly fewer crabs in baited traps at sites with fast versus slow flows even though crabs were more abundant in high flow areas. This finding suggests that higher velocity flows impair the ability of green crabs to locate prey. In laboratory flume assays, green crabs foraged less efficiently when flow velocity was increased. Moreover, green crabs required significantly more time to consume prey in high velocity flows. Our data indicate that flow can impose significant chemosensory and physical constraints on green crabs. Hence, hydrodynamics may strongly influence the role that green crabs and other predators play in rocky intertidal communities.

  7. People's Study Time Allocation and its Relation to Animal Foraging

    PubMed Central

    Metcalfe, Janet; Jacobs, W. Jake

    2010-01-01

    In this article we suggest a relation between people's metacognitively guided study time allocation strategies and animal foraging. These two domains are similar insofar as people use specific metacognitive cues to assist their study time allocation just as other species use cues, such as scent marking. People decline to study items that they know they already know, just as other species use a win-shift strategy – avoiding already visited and depleted patches – in foraging. People selectively study the easiest as-yet-unlearned items first, before turning to more difficult items just as other species take the ‘just right’ size and challenge of prey--the so-called Goldilocks principle. People use a stop rule by which they give up on one item and turn to another when the returns diminish just as others species use a stop rule that guides shifting from one patch to another. The value that each item is assigned on the criterion test, if known during study, influenced which items people choose to study and how long they study them just as knowledge of the nutritional or energy value of the food influences choices and perseverance in foraging. Finally, study time allocation strategies can differ in their effectiveness depending upon the expertise of the student just as some species forage close to optimally while others do not. PMID:20026197

  8. The Role of Semantic Clustering in Optimal Memory Foraging

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Montez, Priscilla; Thompson, Graham; Kello, Christopher T.

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies of semantic memory have investigated two theories of optimal search adopted from the animal foraging literature: Lévy flights and marginal value theorem. Each theory makes different simplifying assumptions and addresses different findings in search behaviors. In this study, an experiment is conducted to test whether clustering in…

  9. Genetic variability of a forage bermudagrass core collection

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bermudagrass (Cynodon sp.) is an important warm-season forage grass for the South and could also be used as a bio-energy feedstock. Cultivars have been developed with high yield and rumen digestibility, but further improvements are needed. Identification of genes that confer reduced recalcitrance...

  10. A Practical Technique for Measuring the Behavior of Foraging Animals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Rosemary J.; Brown, Joel S.

    1991-01-01

    An indirect procedure that uses the foraging behavior of animals at experimental food patches to address questions in animal behavior is discussed. Suggested projects that include the concepts of predation risk, harvest rates and metabolic costs, missed opportunity costs, and competition are described. (KR)

  11. Scrounging by foragers can resolve the paradox of enrichment

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Theoretical models of predator–prey systems predict that sufficient enrichment of prey can generate large amplitude limit cycles, paradoxically causing a high risk of extinction (the paradox of enrichment). Although real ecological communities contain many gregarious species, whose foraging behaviour should be influenced by socially transmitted information, few theoretical studies have examined the possibility that social foraging might resolve this paradox. I considered a predator population in which individuals play the producer–scrounger foraging game in one-prey-one-predator and two-prey-one-predator systems. I analysed the stability of a coexisting equilibrium point in the one-prey system and that of non-equilibrium dynamics in the two-prey system. The results revealed that social foraging could stabilize both systems, and thereby resolve the paradox of enrichment when scrounging behaviour (i.e. kleptoparasitism) is prevalent in predators. This suggests a previously neglected mechanism underlying a powerful effect of group-living animals on the sustainability of ecological communities.

  12. Human memory retrieval as Lévy foraging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhodes, Theo; Turvey, Michael T.

    2007-11-01

    When people attempt to recall as many words as possible from a specific category (e.g., animal names) their retrievals occur sporadically over an extended temporal period. Retrievals decline as recall progresses, but short retrieval bursts can occur even after tens of minutes of performing the task. To date, efforts to gain insight into the nature of retrieval from this fundamental phenomenon of semantic memory have focused primarily upon the exponential growth rate of cumulative recall. Here we focus upon the time intervals between retrievals. We expected and found that, for each participant in our experiment, these intervals conformed to a Lévy distribution suggesting that the Lévy flight dynamics that characterize foraging behavior may also characterize retrieval from semantic memory. The closer the exponent on the inverse square power-law distribution of retrieval intervals approximated the optimal foraging value of 2, the more efficient was the retrieval. At an abstract dynamical level, foraging for particular foods in one's niche and searching for particular words in one's memory must be similar processes if particular foods and particular words are randomly and sparsely located in their respective spaces at sites that are not known a priori. We discuss whether Lévy dynamics imply that memory processes, like foraging, are optimized in an ecological way.

  13. Nutrient compensatory foraging in a free-living social insect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, Keri L.; Gallacher, Anthony P.; Martin, Lizzie; Tong, Desmond; Elgar, Mark A.

    2010-10-01

    The geometric framework model predicts that animal foraging decisions are influenced by their dietary history, with animals targeting a combination of essential nutrients through compensatory foraging. We provide experimental confirmation of nutrient-specific compensatory foraging in a natural, free-living population of social insects by supplementing their diet with sources of protein- or carbohydrate-rich food. Colonies of the ant Iridomyrmex suchieri were provided with feeders containing food rich in either carbohydrate or protein for 6 days, and were then provided with a feeder containing the same or different diet. The patterns of recruitment were consistent with the geometric framework: while feeders with a carbohydrate diet typically attracted more workers than did feeders with protein diet, the difference in recruitment between the two nutrients was smaller if the colonies had had prior access to carbohydrate than protein. Further, fewer ants visited feeders if the colony had had prior access to protein than to carbohydrates, suggesting that the larvae play a role in worker foraging behaviour.

  14. Predator personality and prey behavioural predictability jointly determine foraging performance.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Chen; Teo, Huey Yee; Norma-Rashid, Y; Li, Daiqin

    2017-01-17

    Predator-prey interactions play important roles in ecological communities. Personality, consistent inter-individual differences in behaviour, of predators, prey or both are known to influence inter-specific interactions. An individual may also behave differently under the same situation and the level of such variability may differ between individuals. Such intra-individual variability (IIV) or predictability may be a trait on which selection can also act. A few studies have revealed the joint effect of personality types of both predators and prey on predator foraging performance. However, how personality type and IIV of both predators and prey jointly influence predator foraging performance remains untested empirically. Here, we addressed this using a specialized spider-eating jumping spider, Portia labiata (Salticidae), as the predator, and a jumping spider, Cosmophasis umbratica, as the prey. We examined personality types and IIVs of both P. labiata and C. umbratica and used their inter- and intra-individual behavioural variation as predictors of foraging performance (i.e., number of attempts to capture prey). Personality type and predictability had a joint effect on predator foraging performance. Aggressive predators performed better in capturing unpredictable (high IIV) prey than predictable (low IIV) prey, while docile predators demonstrated better performance when encountering predictable prey. This study highlights the importance of the joint effect of both predator and prey personality types and IIVs on predator-prey interactions.

  15. Evaluating Student Assessments: The Use of Optimal Foraging Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whalley, W. Brian

    2016-01-01

    The concepts of optimal foraging theory and the marginal value theorem are used to investigate possible student behaviour in accruing marks in various forms of assessment. The ideas of predator energy consumption, handling and search times can be evaluated in terms of student behaviour and gaining marks or "attainment". These ideas can…

  16. Honeybee economics: optimisation of foraging in a variable world

    PubMed Central

    Stabentheiner, Anton; Kovac, Helmut

    2016-01-01

    In honeybees fast and efficient exploitation of nectar and pollen sources is achieved by persistent endothermy throughout the foraging cycle, which means extremely high energy costs. The need for food promotes maximisation of the intake rate, and the high costs call for energetic optimisation. Experiments on how honeybees resolve this conflict have to consider that foraging takes place in a variable environment concerning microclimate and food quality and availability. Here we report, in simultaneous measurements of energy costs, gains, and intake rate and efficiency, how honeybee foragers manage this challenge in their highly variable environment. If possible, during unlimited sucrose flow, they follow an ‘investment-guided’ (‘time is honey’) economic strategy promising increased returns. They maximise net intake rate by investing both own heat production and solar heat to increase body temperature to a level which guarantees a high suction velocity. They switch to an ‘economizing’ (‘save the honey’) optimisation of energetic efficiency if the intake rate is restricted by the food source when an increased body temperature would not guarantee a high intake rate. With this flexible and graded change between economic strategies honeybees can do both maximise colony intake rate and optimise foraging efficiency in reaction to environmental variation. PMID:27320240

  17. At-sea associations in foraging little penguins.

    PubMed

    Berlincourt, Maud; Arnould, John P Y

    2014-01-01

    Prey distribution, patch size, and the presence of conspecifics are important factors influencing a predator's feeding tactics, including the decision to feed individually or socially. Little is known about group behaviour in seabirds as they spend most of their lives in the marine environment where it is difficult to observe their foraging activities. In this study, we report on at-sea foraging associations of little penguins (Eudyptula minor) during the breeding season. Individuals could be categorised as (1) not associating; (2) associating when departing from and/or returning to the colony; or (3) at sea when travelling, diving or performing synchronised dives. Out of 84 separate foraging tracks, 58 (69.0%) involved associations with conspecifics. Furthermore, in a total of 39 (46.4%), individuals were found to dive during association and in 32 (38.1%), individuals were found to exhibit synchronous diving. These behaviours suggest little penguins forage in groups, could synchronise their underwater movements and potentially cooperate to concentrate their small schooling prey.

  18. Cervid forage utilization in noncommercially thinned ponderosa pine forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gibbs, M.C.; Jenks, J.A.; Deperno, C.S.; Sowell, B.F.; Jenkins, Kurt J.

    2004-01-01

    To evaluate effects of noncommercial thinning, utilization of forages consumed by elk (Cervus elaphus L.), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus Raf.), and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Raf.) was measured in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa P. & C. Lawson) stands in Custer State Park, S. D. Treatments consisted of unthinned (control; 22 to 32 m2/ha basal area), moderately thinned (12 to 22 m2/ha basal area), and heavily thinned (3 to 13 m2/ha basal area) stands of ponderosa pine. During June, July, and August, 1991 and 1992, about 7,000 individual plants were marked along permanent transects and percent-weight-removed by grazing was ocularly estimated. Sample plots were established along transects and plants within plots were clipped to estimate standing biomass. Pellet groups were counted throughout the study area to determine summer habitat use of elk and deer. Diet composition was evaluated using microhistological analysis of fecal samples. Average percent-weight-removed from all marked plants and percent-plants-grazed were used to evaluate forage utilization. Standing biomass of graminoids, shrubs, and forbs increased (P 0.05) across treatments. Forb use averaged less than 5% within sampling periods when measured as percent-weight-removed and percent-of-plants grazed and did not differ among treatments. Results of pellet group surveys indicated that cervids were primarily using meadow habitats. When averaged over the 2 years, forbs were the major forage class in deer diets, whereas graminoids were the major forage class in diets of elk.

  19. Allocating Great Lakes forage bases in response to multiple demand

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, Edward H.; Busiahn, Thomas R.; Jones, Michael L.; Argyle, Ray L.; Taylor, William W.; Ferreri, C. Paola

    1999-01-01

    Forage base allocation, which has become an important issue because of major changes in the fish communities and fisheries of the Great Lakes since the 1950s is examined and documented in this chapter. Management initiatives that were used to address the issue, and supporting research and development that provided new or improved methods of field sampling and analysis are also highlighted.

  20. Predator personality and prey behavioural predictability jointly determine foraging performance

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Chia-chen; Teo, Huey Yee; Norma-Rashid, Y.; Li, Daiqin

    2017-01-01

    Predator-prey interactions play important roles in ecological communities. Personality, consistent inter-individual differences in behaviour, of predators, prey or both are known to influence inter-specific interactions. An individual may also behave differently under the same situation and the level of such variability may differ between individuals. Such intra-individual variability (IIV) or predictability may be a trait on which selection can also act. A few studies have revealed the joint effect of personality types of both predators and prey on predator foraging performance. However, how personality type and IIV of both predators and prey jointly influence predator foraging performance remains untested empirically. Here, we addressed this using a specialized spider-eating jumping spider, Portia labiata (Salticidae), as the predator, and a jumping spider, Cosmophasis umbratica, as the prey. We examined personality types and IIVs of both P. labiata and C. umbratica and used their inter- and intra-individual behavioural variation as predictors of foraging performance (i.e., number of attempts to capture prey). Personality type and predictability had a joint effect on predator foraging performance. Aggressive predators performed better in capturing unpredictable (high IIV) prey than predictable (low IIV) prey, while docile predators demonstrated better performance when encountering predictable prey. This study highlights the importance of the joint effect of both predator and prey personality types and IIVs on predator-prey interactions. PMID:28094288

  1. Fall Growth Potential of Cereal-Grain Forages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In Arkansas, producers utilizing cereal grains as fall forage for weaned calves usually do not produce a grain crop the following summer. Our objectives were to evaluate eight diverse varieties of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), oat (Avena sativa L.), rye (Secale cereale L.), and triticale (X Triticos...

  2. Fall Growth Potential of Cereal Grain Forages in Northern Arkansas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In Arkansas, producers utilizing cereal grains as fall forage for weaned calves usually do not harvest a grain crop the following summer. This contrasts sharply from practices observed commonly in neighboring Oklahoma, and allows for much wider latitude with respect to management strategies, especia...

  3. Pollen collection and honey bee forager distribution in cantaloupe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera, L.) pollen collection and forager distribution were examined during the summer of 2002 in a cantaloupe (Cucumis melo, L., Cruiser cv.) field provided with plastic mulch and drip irrigation. The experimental site was located near the INIFAP Campo Experimental La Laguna, Ma...

  4. Grazing management for fall-grown oat forages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fall forage production of oat generally will out-yield winter wheat or cereal rye by about a 2:1 ratio, regardless of weather conditions or harvest date because oat plants will joint, elongate, and produce a seedhead before winter, while winter wheat or cereal rye will remain vegetative until spring...

  5. Manipulating sandpaper oak for livestock and wildlife forage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sandpaper oak is a com¬mon woody plant in many parts of the Southwest. Cattle and deer use sandpaper oak as part of their diet in late spring to early summer when other forage is limited. Mowing may be one method to alter the palatability and/or nutritional value of this plant species. We examined e...

  6. Calculating foraging area using gloal navigation satellite system (GNSS) technology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Adjusting stocking rate to changing forage conditions is a critical part of pro-active range management. In general stocking rate approaches tend to assume more optimal landscape use patterns than will actually occur. Today we can monitor spatio-temporal landscape use on a 24/7 basis using animals...

  7. Air pollutants degrade floral scents and increase insect foraging times

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuentes, Jose D.; Chamecki, Marcelo; Roulston, T.'ai; Chen, Bicheng; Pratt, Kenneth R.

    2016-09-01

    Flowers emit mixtures of scents that mediate plant-insect interactions such as attracting insect pollinators. Because of their volatile nature, however, floral scents readily react with ozone, nitrate radical, and hydroxyl radical. The result of such reactions is the degradation and the chemical modification of scent plumes downwind of floral sources. Large Eddy Simulations (LES) are developed to investigate dispersion and chemical degradation and modification of floral scents due to reactions with ozone, hydroxyl radical, and nitrate radical within the atmospheric surface layer. Impacts on foraging insects are investigated by utilizing a random walk model to simulate insect search behavior. Results indicate that even moderate air pollutant levels (e.g., ozone mixing ratios greater than 60 parts per billion on a per volume basis, ppbv) substantially degrade floral volatiles and alter the chemical composition of released floral scents. As a result, insect success rates of locating plumes of floral scents were reduced and foraging times increased in polluted air masses due to considerable degradation and changes in the composition of floral scents. Results also indicate that plant-pollinator interactions could be sensitive to changes in floral scent composition, especially if insects are unable to adapt to the modified scentscape. The increase in foraging time could have severe cascading and pernicious impacts on the fitness of foraging insects by reducing the time devoted to other necessary tasks.

  8. Yield and persistence response of forage chicory to phosphorus fertility

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forage chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a productive plant that appears particularly well suited to improving summer yield of pastures in the USA. Poor palatability of some chicory cultivars in locations with low soil phosphorus fertility has been linked to high levels of sesquiterpene lactone, a bit...

  9. Nutritive value response of forage chicory cultivars to phosphorus fertility

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forage chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) is a productive plant that appears particularly well suited to improving summer yield of pastures in the USA. Poor palatability of some chicory cultivars in locations with low soil phosphorus fertility has been linked to high levels of sesquiterpene lactones, b...

  10. Cultivar Preference of Lambs Grazing Forage Chicory in Ohio

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This project compared grazing preferences of lambs between seven cultivars of forage chicory (Cichorium intybus L.). This on-farm trial was conducted in central Ohio (40.53 degrees N, 82.46 degrees W, 1089 ft above sea level). The chicory was established by using conventional tillage in Bogart Silt...

  11. Green Crab (Carcinus maenas) Foraging Efficiency Reduced by Fast Flows

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Elizabeth M.; Smee, Delbert L.; Trussell, Geoffrey C.

    2011-01-01

    Predators can strongly influence prey populations and the structure and function of ecosystems, but these effects can be modified by environmental stress. For example, fluid velocity and turbulence can alter the impact of predators by limiting their environmental range and altering their foraging ability. We investigated how hydrodynamics affected the foraging behavior of the green crab (Carcinus maenas), which is invading marine habitats throughout the world. High flow velocities are known to reduce green crab predation rates and our study sought to identify the mechanisms by which flow affects green crabs. We performed a series of experiments with green crabs to determine: 1) if their ability to find prey was altered by flow in the field, 2) how flow velocity influenced their foraging efficiency, and 3) how flow velocity affected their handling time of prey. In a field study, we caught significantly fewer crabs in baited traps at sites with fast versus slow flows even though crabs were more abundant in high flow areas. This finding suggests that higher velocity flows impair the ability of green crabs to locate prey. In laboratory flume assays, green crabs foraged less efficiently when flow velocity was increased. Moreover, green crabs required significantly more time to consume prey in high velocity flows. Our data indicate that flow can impose significant chemosensory and physical constraints on green crabs. Hence, hydrodynamics may strongly influence the role that green crabs and other predators play in rocky intertidal communities. PMID:21687742

  12. Rational Analyses of Information Foraging on the Web

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pirolli, Peter

    2005-01-01

    This article describes rational analyses and cognitive models of Web users developed within information foraging theory. This is done by following the rational analysis methodology of (a) characterizing the problems posed by the environment, (b) developing rational analyses of behavioral solutions to those problems, and (c) developing cognitive…

  13. A Simulation of Optimal Foraging: The Nuts and Bolts Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomson, James D.

    1980-01-01

    Presents a mechanical model for an ecology laboratory that introduces the concept of optimal foraging theory. Describes the physical model which includes a board studded with protruding machine bolts that simulate prey, and blindfolded students who simulate either generalist or specialist predator types. Discusses the theoretical model and data…

  14. People's study time allocation and its relation to animal foraging.

    PubMed

    Metcalfe, Janet; Jacobs, W Jake

    2010-02-01

    In this article we suggest a relation between people's metacognitively guided study time allocation strategies and animal foraging. These two domains are similar insofar as people use specific metacognitive cues to assist their study time allocation just as other species use cues, such as scent marking. People decline to study items that they know they already know, just as other species use a win-shift strategy - avoiding already visited and depleted patches - in foraging. People selectively study the easiest as-yet-unlearned items first, before turning to more difficult items just as other species take the 'just right' size and challenge of prey-the so-called Goldilocks principle. People use a stop rule by which they give up on one item and turn to another when the returns diminish just as others species use a stop rule that guides shifting from one patch to another. The value that each item is assigned on the criterion test, if known during study, influences which items people choose to study and how long they study them just as knowledge of the nutritional or energy value of the food influences choices and perseverance in foraging. Finally, study time allocation strategies can differ in their effectiveness depending upon the expertise of the student just as some species forage close to optimally while others do not.

  15. Headquarters Expeditionary Troops Task Force 56. Report on Forager

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1944-04-01

    Pacific Ocean Areas, to start preparations for the GYMKHANA -ROADMAKER Operation with a tentative target date of 15 June. Troops participating were to be...designated after completion of then current operations in the MARSHALLS. The plans for FORAGER were a development of those for GYMKHANA -ROADMAKER

  16. Specialization on pollen or nectar in bumblebee foragers is not associated with ovary size, lipid reserves or sensory tuning

    PubMed Central

    Graystock, Peter; Hughes, William O.H.

    2016-01-01

    Foraging specialization allows social insects to more efficiently exploit resources in their environment. Recent research on honeybees suggests that specialization on pollen or nectar among foragers is linked to reproductive physiology and sensory tuning (the Reproductive Ground-Plan Hypothesis; RGPH). However, our understanding of the underlying physiological relationships in non-Apis bees is still limited. Here we show that the bumblebee Bombus terrestris has specialist pollen and nectar foragers, and test whether foraging specialization in B. terrestris is linked to reproductive physiology, measured as ovarian activation. We show that neither ovary size, sensory sensitivity, measured through proboscis extension response (PER), or whole-body lipid stores differed between pollen foragers, nectar foragers, or generalist foragers. Body size also did not differ between any of these three forager groups. Non-foragers had significantly larger ovaries than foragers. This suggests that potentially reproductive individuals avoid foraging. PMID:27812411

  17. Legume-Cereal Intercropping Improves Forage Yield, Quality and Degradability.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jie; Yin, Binjie; Xie, Yuhuai; Li, Jing; Yang, Zaibin; Zhang, Guiguo

    2015-01-01

    Intercropping legume with cereal is an extensively applied planting pattern in crop cultivation. However, forage potential and the degradability of harvested mixtures from intercropping system remain unclear. To investigate the feasibility of applying an intercropping system as a forage supply source to ruminants, two consecutive experiments (experiments 1 and 2) involving a field cultivation trial and a subsequent in vivo degradable experiment were conducted to determine the forage production performance and the ruminally degradable characteristics of a harvested mixture from an alfalfa/corn-rye intercropping system. In experiment 1, the intercropping system was established by alternating alfalfa and corn or rye with a row ratio of 5:2. Dry matter (DM) and nutrient yields were determined. In experiment 2, forages harvested from the different treatments were used as feedstuff to identify nutrient degradation kinetics and distribution of components between the rapidly degradable (a), potentially degradable (b) and the degradation rate constant (c) of 'b' fraction by in sacco method in Small-Tail Han wether Sheep. The intercropping system of alfalfa and corn-rye provided higher forage production performance with net increases of 9.52% and 34.81% in DM yield, 42.13% and 16.74% in crude protein (CP) yield, 25.94% and 69.99% in degradable DM yield, and 16.96% and 5.50% in degradable CP yield than rotation and alfalfa sole cropping systems, respectively. In addition, the harvest mixture from intercropping system also had greater 'a' fraction, 'b' fraction, 'c' values, and effective degradability (E value) of DM and CP than corn or rye hay harvested from rotation system. After 48-h exposure to rumen microbes, intercropping harvest materials were degraded to a higher extent than separately degraded crop stems from the sole system as indicated by visual microscopic examination with more tissues disappeared. Thus, the intercropping of alfalfa and corn-rye exhibited a greater

  18. Amygdala Signaling during Foraging in a Hazardous Environment

    PubMed Central

    Amir, Alon; Lee, Seung-Chan; Headley, Drew B.; Herzallah, Mohammad M.

    2015-01-01

    We recorded basolateral amygdala (BL) neurons in a seminaturalistic foraging task. Rats had to leave their nest to retrieve food in an elongated arena inhabited by a mechanical predator. There were marked trial-to-trial variations in behavior. After poking their head into the foraging arena and waiting there for a while, rats either retreated to their nest or initiated foraging. Before initiating foraging, rats waited longer on trials that followed failed than successful trials indicating that prior experience influenced behavior. Upon foraging initiation, most principal cells (Type-1) reduced their firing rate, while in a minority (Type-2) it increased. When rats aborted foraging, Type-1 cells increased their firing rates, whereas in Type-2 cells it did not change. Surprisingly, the opposite activity profiles of Type-1 and Type-2 units were also seen in control tasks devoid of explicit threats or rewards. The common correlate of BL activity across these tasks was movement velocity, although an influence of position was also observed. Thus depending on whether rats initiated movement or not, the activity of BL neurons decreased or increased, regardless of whether threat or rewards were present. Therefore, BL activity not only encodes threats or rewards, but is closely related to behavioral output. We propose that higher order cortical areas determine task-related changes in BL activity as a function of reward/threat expectations and internal states. Because Type-1 and Type-2 cells likely form differential connections with the central amygdala (controlling freezing), this process would determine whether movement aimed at attaining food or exploration is suppressed or facilitated. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT For decades, amygdala research has been dominated by pavlovian and operant conditioning paradigms. This work has led to the view that amygdala neurons signal threats or rewards, in turn causing defensive or approach behaviors. However, the artificial circumstances of

  19. Valuation of pollinator forage services provided by Eucalyptus cladocalyx.

    PubMed

    de Lange, Willem J; Veldtman, Ruan; Allsopp, Mike H

    2013-08-15

    We assess the monetary value of forage provisioning services for honeybees as provided by an alien tree species in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Although Eucalyptus cladocalyx is not an officially declared invader, it is cleared on a regular basis along with other invasive Eucalyptus species such as Eucalyptus camaldulensis, and Eucalyptus conferruminata (which have been prioritised for eradication in South Africa). We present some of the trade-offs associated with the clearing of E. cladocalyx by means of a practical example that illustrates a situation where the benefits of the species to certain stakeholders could support the containment of the species in demarcated areas, while allowing clearing outside such areas. Given the absence of market prices for such forage provisioning services, the replacement cost is used to present the value of the loss in forage as provided by E. cladocalyx if the alien tree species is cleared along with invasive alien tree species. Two replacement scenarios formed the basis for our calculations. The first scenario was an artificial diet as replacement for the forage provisioning service, which yielded a direct cost estimate of US$7.5 m per year. The second was based on a Fynbos cultivation/restoration initiative aimed at substituting the forage provisioning service of E. cladocalyx, which yielded a direct cost of US$20.2 m per year. These figures provide estimates of the potential additional cost burden on the beekeeping industry if E. cladocalyx is completely eradicated from the Western Cape. The cost estimates should be balanced against the negative impacts of E. cladocalyx on ecosystem services in order to make an informed decision with regard to appropriate management strategies for this species. The findings therefore serve as useful inputs to balance trade-offs for alien species that are considered as beneficial to some, but harmful to other.

  20. The dilemma of foraging herbivores: dealing with food and fear.

    PubMed

    McArthur, Clare; Banks, Peter B; Boonstra, Rudy; Forbey, Jennifer Sorensen

    2014-11-01

    For foraging herbivores, both food quality and predation risk vary across the landscape. Animals should avoid low-quality food patches in favour of high-quality ones, and seek safe patches while avoiding risky ones. Herbivores often face the foraging dilemma, however, of choosing between high-quality food in risky places or low-quality food in safe places. Here, we explore how and why the interaction between food quality and predation risk affects foraging decisions of mammalian herbivores, focusing on browsers confronting plant toxins in a landscape of fear. We draw together themes of plant-herbivore and predator-prey interactions, and the roles of animal ecophysiology, behaviour and personality. The response of herbivores to the dual costs of food and fear depends on the interplay of physiology and behaviour. We discuss detoxification physiology in dealing with plant toxins, and stress physiology associated with perceived predation risk. We argue that behaviour is the interface enabling herbivores to stay or quit food patches in response to their physiological tolerance to these risks. We hypothesise that generalist and specialist herbivores perceive the relative costs of plant defence and predation risk differently and intra-specifically, individuals with different personalities and physiologies should do so too, creating individualised landscapes of food and fear. We explore the ecological significance and emergent impacts of these individual-based foraging outcomes on populations and communities, and offer predictions that can be clearly tested. In doing so, we provide an integrated platform advancing herbivore foraging theory with food quality and predation risk at its core.

  1. Foraging fidelity as a recipe for a long life: foraging strategy and longevity in male Southern Elephant Seals.

    PubMed

    Authier, Matthieu; Bentaleb, Ilham; Ponchon, Aurore; Martin, Céline; Guinet, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    Identifying individual factors affecting life-span has long been of interest for biologists and demographers: how do some individuals manage to dodge the forces of mortality when the vast majority does not? Answering this question is not straightforward, partly because of the arduous task of accurately estimating longevity in wild animals, and of the statistical difficulties in correlating time-varying ecological covariables with a single number (time-to-event). Here we investigated the relationship between foraging strategy and life-span in an elusive and large marine predator: the Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina). Using teeth recovered from dead males on îles Kerguelen, Southern Ocean, we first aged specimens. Then we used stable isotopic measurements of carbon (δ13C) in dentin to study the effect of foraging location on individual life-span. Using a joint change-point/survival modelling approach which enabled us to describe the ontogenetic trajectory of foraging, we unveiled how a stable foraging strategy developed early in life positively covaried with longevity in male Southern Elephant Seals. Coupled with an appropriate statistical analysis, stable isotopes have the potential to tackle ecological questions of long standing interest but whose answer has been hampered by logistic constraints.

  2. Foraging Fidelity as a Recipe for a Long Life: Foraging Strategy and Longevity in Male Southern Elephant Seals

    PubMed Central

    Authier, Matthieu; Bentaleb, Ilham; Ponchon, Aurore; Martin, Céline; Guinet, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    Identifying individual factors affecting life-span has long been of interest for biologists and demographers: how do some individuals manage to dodge the forces of mortality when the vast majority does not? Answering this question is not straightforward, partly because of the arduous task of accurately estimating longevity in wild animals, and of the statistical difficulties in correlating time-varying ecological covariables with a single number (time-to-event). Here we investigated the relationship between foraging strategy and life-span in an elusive and large marine predator: the Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina). Using teeth recovered from dead males on îles Kerguelen, Southern Ocean, we first aged specimens. Then we used stable isotopic measurements of carbon () in dentin to study the effect of foraging location on individual life-span. Using a joint change-point/survival modelling approach which enabled us to describe the ontogenetic trajectory of foraging, we unveiled how a stable foraging strategy developed early in life positively covaried with longevity in male Southern Elephant Seals. Coupled with an appropriate statistical analysis, stable isotopes have the potential to tackle ecological questions of long standing interest but whose answer has been hampered by logistic constraints. PMID:22505993

  3. The effects of drought on Ngatatjara plant use: An evaluation of optimal foraging theory

    SciTech Connect

    Pate D.

    1986-03-01

    The different responses of plants to drought conditions are examined in the Western Desert of Australia to demonstrate the necessity of considering plant food availability prior to optimal foraging applications involving human hunter-gatherers. The correspondence of Ngatatjara dietary breadth changes to optimal foraging predictions is explained as an adaptive response to the unpredictable Western Desert reinfall. By minimizing the time allocated to food procurement, energy-efficient foraging reduces the risk involved in the exploitation of scattered, ephemeral water sources. Futher applications of optimal foraging models to hunter-gatherers is one line of promising investigation to address behavioral variability among human foragers.

  4. State-dependent foraging: lactating voles adjust their foraging behavior according to the presence of a potential nest predator and season.

    PubMed

    Liesenjohann, Thilo; Liesenjohann, Monique; Trebaticka, Lenka; Sundell, Janne; Haapakoski, Marko; Ylönen, Hannu; Eccard, Jana A

    Parental care often produces a trade-off between meeting nutritional demands of offspring and the duties of offspring protection, especially in altricial species. Parents have to leave their young unattended for foraging trips, during which nestlings are exposed to predators. We investigated how rodent mothers of altricial young respond to risk of nest predation in their foraging decisions. We studied foraging behavior of lactating bank voles (Myodes glareolus) exposed to a nest predator, the common shrew (Sorex araneus). We conducted the experiment in summer (high resource provisioning for both species) and autumn (less food available) in 12 replicates with fully crossed factors "shrew presence" and "season." We monitored use of feeding stations near and far from the nest as measurement of foraging activity and strategic foraging behavior. Vole mothers adapted their strategies to shrew presence and optimized their foraging behavior according to seasonal constraints, resulting in an interaction of treatment and season. In summer, shrew presence reduced food intake from feeding stations, while it enhanced intake in autumn. Shrew presence decreased the number of visited feeding stations in autumn and concentrated mother's foraging efforts to fewer stations. Independent of shrew presence or season, mothers foraged more in patches further away from the nest than near the nest. Results indicate that females are not investing in nest guarding but try to avoid the accumulation of olfactory cues near the nest leading a predator to the young. Additionally, our study shows how foraging strategies and nest attendance are influenced by seasonal food provision.

  5. Fearful Foragers: Honey Bees Tune Colony and Individual Foraging to Multi-Predator Presence and Food Quality

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Ken; Hu, Zongwen; Chen, Weiwen; Wang, Zhengwei; Wang, Yuchong; Nieh, James C.

    2013-01-01

    Fear can have strong ecosystem effects by giving predators a role disproportionate to their actual kill rates. In bees, fear is shown through foragers avoiding dangerous food sites, thereby reducing the fitness of pollinated plants. However, it remains unclear how fear affects pollinators in a complex natural scenario involving multiple predator species and different patch qualities. We studied hornets, Vespa velutina (smaller) and V. tropica (bigger) preying upon the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana in China. Hornets hunted bees on flowers and were attacked by bee colonies. Bees treated the bigger hornet species (which is 4 fold more massive) as more dangerous. It received 4.5 fold more attackers than the smaller hornet species. We tested bee responses to a three-feeder array with different hornet species and varying resource qualities. When all feeders offered 30% sucrose solution (w/w), colony foraging allocation, individual visits, and individual patch residence times were reduced according to the degree of danger. Predator presence reduced foraging visits by 55–79% and residence times by 17–33%. When feeders offered different reward levels (15%, 30%, or 45% sucrose), colony and individual foraging favored higher sugar concentrations. However, when balancing food quality against multiple threats (sweeter food corresponding to higher danger), colonies exhibited greater fear than individuals. Colonies decreased foraging at low and high danger patches. Individuals exhibited less fear and only decreased visits to the high danger patch. Contrasting individual with emergent colony-level effects of fear can thus illuminate how predators shape pollination by social bees. PMID:24098734

  6. Sex-Related Differences in the Trade-Off between Foraging and Vigilance in a Granivorous Forager

    PubMed Central

    Powolny, Thibaut; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Aguilar, Astrid; Eraud, Cyril

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between intake rate and food density can provide the foundation for models that predict the spatiotemporal distribution of organisms across a range of resource densities. The functional response, describing the relationship between resource density and intake rate is often interpreted mechanistically as the relationships between times spend searching and handling. While several functional response models incorporate anti-predator vigilance (defined here as an interruption of feeding or some other activity to visually scan the environment, directed mainly towards detecting potential predators), the impacts of environmental factors influencing directly anti-predator vigilance remains unclear. We examined the combined effects of different scenarios of predation risk and food density on time allocation between foraging and anti-predator vigilance in a granivorous species. We experimentally exposed Skylarks to various cover heights and seed densities, and measured individual time budget and pecking and intake rates. Our results indicated that time devoted to different activities varied as a function of both seed density and cover height. Foraging time increased with seed density for all cover heights. Conversely, an increased cover height resulted in a decreased foraging time. Contrary to males, the decreased proportion of time spent foraging did not translate into a foraging disadvantage for females. When vegetation height was higher, females maintained similar pecking and intake rates compared to intermediate levels, while males consistently decreased their energy gain. This difference in anti-predator responses suggests a sexually mediated strategy in the food-safety trade-off: when resource density is high a females would adopt a camouflage strategy while an escape strategy would be adopted by males. In other words, males would leave risky-areas, whereas females would stay when resource density is high. Our results suggest that increased predation

  7. Predation Risk Perception, Food Density and Conspecific Cues Shape Foraging Decisions in a Tropical Lizard

    PubMed Central

    Kolbe, Jason J.

    2015-01-01

    When foraging, animals can maximize their fitness if they are able to tailor their foraging decisions to current environmental conditions. When making foraging decisions, individuals need to assess the benefits of foraging while accounting for the potential risks of being captured by a predator. However, whether and how different factors interact to shape these decisions is not yet well understood, especially in individual foragers. Here we present a standardized set of manipulative field experiments in the form of foraging assays in the tropical lizard Anolis cristatellus in Puerto Rico. We presented male lizards with foraging opportunities to test how the presence of conspecifics, predation-risk perception, the abundance of food, and interactions among these factors determines the outcome of foraging decisions. In Experiment 1, anoles foraged faster when food was scarce and other conspecifics were present near the feeding tray, while they took longer to feed when food was abundant and when no conspecifics were present. These results suggest that foraging decisions in anoles are the result of a complex process in which individuals assess predation risk by using information from conspecific individuals while taking into account food abundance. In Experiment 2, a simulated increase in predation risk (i.e., distance to the feeding tray) confirmed the relevance of risk perception by showing that the use of available perches is strongly correlated with the latency to feed. We found Puerto Rican crested anoles integrate instantaneous ecological information about food abundance, conspecific activity and predation risk, and adjust their foraging behavior accordingly. PMID:26384236

  8. Colony variation in the collective regulation of foraging by harvester ants

    PubMed Central

    Guetz, Adam; Greene, Michael J.; Holmes, Susan

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates variation in collective behavior in a natural population of colonies of the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus. Harvester ant colonies regulate foraging activity to adjust to current food availability; the rate at which inactive foragers leave the nest on the next trip depends on the rate at which successful foragers return with food. This study investigates differences among colonies in foraging activity and how these differences are associated with variation among colonies in the regulation of foraging. Colonies differ in the baseline rate at which patrollers leave the nest, without stimulation from returning ants. This baseline rate predicts a colony's foraging activity, suggesting there is a colony-specific activity level that influences how quickly any ant leaves the nest. When a colony's foraging activity is high, the colony is more likely to regulate foraging. Moreover, colonies differ in the propensity to adjust the rate of outgoing foragers to the rate of forager return. Naturally occurring variation in the regulation of foraging may lead to variation in colony survival and reproductive success. PMID:22479133

  9. Predation Risk Perception, Food Density and Conspecific Cues Shape Foraging Decisions in a Tropical Lizard.

    PubMed

    Drakeley, Maximilian; Lapiedra, Oriol; Kolbe, Jason J

    2015-01-01

    When foraging, animals can maximize their fitness if they are able to tailor their foraging decisions to current environmental conditions. When making foraging decisions, individuals need to assess the benefits of foraging while accounting for the potential risks of being captured by a predator. However, whether and how different factors interact to shape these decisions is not yet well understood, especially in individual foragers. Here we present a standardized set of manipulative field experiments in the form of foraging assays in the tropical lizard Anolis cristatellus in Puerto Rico. We presented male lizards with foraging opportunities to test how the presence of conspecifics, predation-risk perception, the abundance of food, and interactions among these factors determines the outcome of foraging decisions. In Experiment 1, anoles foraged faster when food was scarce and other conspecifics were present near the feeding tray, while they took longer to feed when food was abundant and when no conspecifics were present. These results suggest that foraging decisions in anoles are the result of a complex process in which individuals assess predation risk by using information from conspecific individuals while taking into account food abundance. In Experiment 2, a simulated increase in predation risk (i.e., distance to the feeding tray) confirmed the relevance of risk perception by showing that the use of available perches is strongly correlated with the latency to feed. We found Puerto Rican crested anoles integrate instantaneous ecological information about food abundance, conspecific activity and predation risk, and adjust their foraging behavior accordingly.

  10. Feasibility study of wood stork foraging habitat mapping using landsat multispectral data

    SciTech Connect

    Jensen, J.R.; Hodgson, M.E.; Coulter, M.; Mackey, H.E. Jr.

    1986-01-01

    The wood stork is a large wading bird which forages in shallow wetlands up to 70 kilometers from the colony. Landsat data were evaluated to determine if remote sensing data were suitable for locating and estimating the extent of potential foraging habitat for this species over such a large range. Thematic Mapper data of north-central Georgia and the Savannah River floodplain in South Carolina were obtained May 5, 1984. Spectral signatures from known foraging sites near a colony in Georgia were identified. Computer clustering techniques were used to identify and map shallow water and marsh wetland foraging habitats. Foraging acreages were computed, and maps of the locations of candidate foraging sites were produced for a 1520-square-kilometer area. Remote sensing appears to provide a feasible method of evaluating the regional wetland foraging habitat available to this wide-ranging species.

  11. Soil microbial communities and elk foraging intensity: implications for soil biogeochemical cycling in the sagebrush steppe.

    PubMed

    Cline, Lauren C; Zak, Donald R; Upchurch, Rima A; Freedman, Zachary B; Peschel, Anna R

    2017-02-01

    Foraging intensity of large herbivores may exert an indirect top-down ecological force on soil microbial communities via changes in plant litter inputs. We investigated the responses of the soil microbial community to elk (Cervus elaphus) winter range occupancy across a long-term foraging exclusion experiment in the sagebrush steppe of the North American Rocky Mountains, combining phylogenetic analysis of fungi and bacteria with shotgun metagenomics and extracellular enzyme assays. Winter foraging intensity was associated with reduced bacterial richness and increasingly distinct bacterial communities. Although fungal communities did not respond linearly to foraging intensity, a greater β-diversity response to winter foraging exclusion was observed. Furthermore, winter foraging exclusion increased soil cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic enzyme potential and higher foraging intensity reduced chitinolytic gene abundance. Thus, future changes in winter range occupancy may shape biogeochemical processes via shifts in microbial communities and subsequent changes to their physiological capacities to cycle soil C and N.

  12. The Role of Non-Foraging Nests in Polydomous Wood Ant Colonies.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Samuel; Robinson, Elva J H

    2015-01-01

    A colony of red wood ants can inhabit more than one spatially separated nest, in a strategy called polydomy. Some nests within these polydomous colonies have no foraging trails to aphid colonies in the canopy. In this study we identify and investigate the possible roles of non-foraging nests in polydomous colonies of the wood ant Formica lugubris. To investigate the role of non-foraging nests we: (i) monitored colonies for three years; (ii) observed the resources being transported between non-foraging nests and the rest of the colony; (iii) measured the amount of extra-nest activity around non-foraging and foraging nests. We used these datasets to investigate the extent to which non-foraging nests within polydomous colonies are acting as: part of the colony expansion process; hunting and scavenging specialists; brood-development specialists; seasonal foragers; or a selfish strategy exploiting the foraging effort of the rest of the colony. We found that, rather than having a specialised role, non-foraging nests are part of the process of colony expansion. Polydomous colonies expand by founding new nests in the area surrounding the existing nests. Nests founded near food begin foraging and become part of the colony; other nests are not founded near food sources and do not initially forage. Some of these non-foraging nests eventually begin foraging; others do not and are abandoned. This is a method of colony growth not available to colonies inhabiting a single nest, and may be an important advantage of the polydomous nesting strategy, allowing the colony to expand into profitable areas.

  13. Estimation of the indigestible fiber in different forage types.

    PubMed

    Palmonari, A; Gallo, A; Fustini, M; Canestrari, G; Masoero, F; Sniffen, Charles J; Formigoni, A

    2016-01-01

    The role of indigestible NDF is essential in relation to OM digestibility prediction, total tract digestibility, rumen fill, passage rate, and digestion kinetics. Moreover, the truly indigestible NDF (iNDF) represents a core point in dynamic models used for diet formulations. However, despite its wide possible applications, few trials have been conducted to quantify iNDF and even fewer to investigate whether or not it is consistent among different forage sources. The objective of this study was to predict the iNDF by measuring the residual NDF after 240-h in vitro fermentation to determine the unavailable NDF (uNDF) within and among various forage types. Finally, a mathematical approach was investigated for the estimation of the uNDF fraction. In all, 688 forages were analyzed in this study. This pool included 122 alfalfa hays, 282 corn silages, and 284 grass hays. Values of uNDF varied among different forages and within the same type (22.7% ± 4.48%, 20.1% ± 4.23%, and 11.8% ± 3.5% DM for grass hay, alfalfa hay, and corn silages, respectively). The relationship among uNDF and ADL was not constant and, for grass hay and corn silage, was different ( 0.05) from the 2.4 × lignin value applied by the traditional Chandler equation. The observed uNDF:ADL ratio was 3.22 for grass hay and 3.11 for corn silage. Relationships among chemical and biological parameters and uNDF were investigated via simple and multiple regression equations. The greatest correlation with a single variable was obtained by ADL and ADF when applied to the whole data set ( = 0.63). Greater coefficients of determination resulted from a multiple regression equation for the whole data set ( = 0.80) and within each forage type ( = 0.65, 0.77, and 0.54 for grass hay, alfalfa hay, and corn silage, respectively). In conclusion, a regression approach requires specific equations and different regression coefficients for each forage type. The direct measurement of uNDF represented the best approach to

  14. Has eutrophication promoted forage fish production in the Baltic Sea?

    PubMed

    Eero, Margit; Andersson, Helén C; Almroth-Rosell, Elin; MacKenzie, Brian R

    2016-10-01

    Reducing anthropogenic nutrient inputs is a major policy goal for restoring good environmental status of coastal marine ecosystems. However, it is unclear to what extent reducing nutrients would also lower fish production and fisheries yields. Empirical examples of changes in nutrient loads and concurrent fish production can provide useful insights to this question. In this paper, we investigate to what extent a multi-fold increase in nutrient loads from the 1950s to 1980s enhanced forage fish production in the Baltic Sea. We use monitoring data on fish stock dynamics covering the period of the nutrient increase, combined with nutrient concentrations from a 3-dimensional coupled physical-biogeochemical ocean model. The results suggest that nutrient enrichment enhanced the biomass level of forage fish by up to 50 % in some years and areas due to increased body weight of fish. However, the trends in fish biomasses were generally decoupled from changes in nutrient concentrations.

  15. PCNN document segmentation method based on bacterial foraging optimization algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liao, Yanping; Zhang, Peng; Guo, Qiang; Wan, Jian

    2014-04-01

    Pulse Coupled Neural Network(PCNN) is widely used in the field of image processing, but it is a difficult task to define the relative parameters properly in the research of the applications of PCNN. So far the determination of parameters of its model needs a lot of experiments. To deal with the above problem, a document segmentation based on the improved PCNN is proposed. It uses the maximum entropy function as the fitness function of bacterial foraging optimization algorithm, adopts bacterial foraging optimization algorithm to search the optimal parameters, and eliminates the trouble of manually set the experiment parameters. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithm can effectively complete document segmentation. And result of the segmentation is better than the contrast algorithms.

  16. Therapeutic effects of an imposed foraging task in disturbed monkeys.

    PubMed

    Rosenblum, L A; Smiley, J

    1984-07-01

    A group of twelve bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata) raised in partial social isolation from birth to adulthood expressed moderate-to-severe behavioral disturbance as a function of their early rearing environments. The range of these behavioral function of their early rearing environments. The range of these behavioral abnormalities in this species are described for the first time. In order to assess the role of the current environment on their behavior, the animals as a group were required to obtain all of their food from a foraging device presenting two levels of difficulty. The therapeutic effect of the imposed foraging task was dependent upon the individual's status in the dominance hierarchy. Low- and high-ranking animals responded positively and became more social (338% above baseline levels) and showed lower levels of specific abnormal behaviors (nearly 75% lower). Mid-ranking animals responded negatively and became less social (89% lower), while their levels of abnormal behavior dramatically increased (200% higher).

  17. Bacterial foraging based edge detection for cell image segmentation.

    PubMed

    Pan, Yongsheng; Zhou, Tao; Xia, Yong

    2015-01-01

    Edge detection is the most popular and common choices for cell image segmentation, in which local searching strategies are commonly used. In spite of their computational efficiency, traditional edge detectors, however, may either produce discontinued edges or rely heavily on initializations. In this paper, we propose a bacterial foraging based edge detection (BFED) algorithm for cell image segmentation. We model the gradients of intensities as the nutrient concentration and propel bacteria to forage along nutrient-rich locations via mimicking the behavior of Escherichia coli, including the chemotaxis, swarming, reproduction, elimination and dispersal. As a nature-inspired evolutionary technique, this algorithm can identify the desired edges and mark them as the tracks of bacteria. We have evaluated the proposed algorithm against the Canny, SUSAN, Verma's and an active contour model (ACM) based edge detectors on both synthetic and real cell images. Our results suggest that the BFED algorithm can identify boundaries more effectively and provide more accurate cell image segmentation.

  18. Forage as a primary source of mycotoxins in animal diets.

    PubMed

    Skládanka, Jiří; Nedělník, Jan; Adam, Vojtěch; Doležal, Petr; Moravcová, Hana; Dohnal, Vlastimil

    2011-01-01

    The issue of moulds and, thus, contamination with mycotoxins is very topical, particularly in connexion with forages from grass stands used at the end of the growing season. Deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEA), fumonisins (FUM) and aflatoxins (AFL) are among the most common mycotoxins. The aim of the paper was to determine concentrations of mycotoxins in selected grasses (Lolium perenne, Festulolium pabulare, Festulolium braunii) and their mixtures with Festuca rubra an/or Poa pratensis during the growing season as a marker of grass safety, which was assessed according to content of the aforementioned mycotoxins. During the growing season grass forage was contaminated with mycotoxins, most of all by DON and ZEA. The contents of AFL and FUM were zero or below the limit of quantification. Moreover, the level of the occurrence of mould was quantified as ergosterol content, which was higher at the specific date of cut. All results were statistically processed and significant changes were discussed.

  19. Protecting rain forests and forager's rights using LANDSAT imagery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilkie, David S.

    1991-01-01

    Creating rain forest reserves is vital given the global decline in biodiversity. Yet, the plants and animals that will be protected from untrammeled commercial exploitation within such reserves constitute essential resources for indigenous foragers and farmers. Balancing the needs of local subsistence level populations with the goals of national and international conservation agencies requires a thorough understanding of the mutual impacts that arise from the interaction of park and people. In the Ituri forest of Zaire, LANDSAT TM image analysis and GPS ground truth data were used to locate human settlements so that boundaries of the proposed Okapi Reserve could be chosen to minimize its impact on the subsistence practices of the local foragers and farmers. Using satellite imagery in conjunction with cultural information should help to ensure traditional resource exploitation rights of indigenous peoples whilst simultaneously protecting the largest contiguous area of undisturbed forest.

  20. Dredging displaces bottlenose dolphins from an urbanised foraging patch.

    PubMed

    Pirotta, Enrico; Laesser, Barbara Eva; Hardaker, Andrea; Riddoch, Nicholas; Marcoux, Marianne; Lusseau, David

    2013-09-15

    The exponential growth of the human population and its increasing industrial development often involve large scale modifications of the environment. In the marine context, coastal urbanisation and harbour expansion to accommodate the rising levels of shipping and offshore energy exploitation require dredging to modify the shoreline and sea floor. While the consequences of dredging on invertebrates and fish are relatively well documented, no study has robustly tested the effects on large marine vertebrates. We monitored the attendance of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to a recently established urbanised foraging patch, Aberdeen harbour (Scotland), and modelled the effect of dredging operations on site usage. We found that higher intensities of dredging caused the dolphins to spend less time in the harbour, despite high baseline levels of disturbance and the importance of the area as a foraging patch.

  1. Social learning of an associative foraging task in zebrafish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zala, Sarah M.; Määttänen, Ilmari

    2013-05-01

    The zebrafish ( Danio rerio) is increasingly becoming an important model species for studies on the genetic and neural mechanisms controlling behaviour and cognition. Here, we utilized a conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm to study social learning in zebrafish. We tested whether social interactions with conditioned demonstrators enhance the ability of focal naïve individuals to learn an associative foraging task. We found that the presence of conditioned demonstrators improved focal fish foraging behaviour through the process of social transmission, whereas the presence of inexperienced demonstrators interfered with the learning of the control focal fish. Our results indicate that zebrafish use social learning for finding food and that this CPP paradigm is an efficient assay to study social learning and memory in zebrafish.

  2. Social learning of an associative foraging task in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Zala, Sarah M; Määttänen, Ilmari

    2013-05-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is increasingly becoming an important model species for studies on the genetic and neural mechanisms controlling behaviour and cognition. Here, we utilized a conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm to study social learning in zebrafish. We tested whether social interactions with conditioned demonstrators enhance the ability of focal naïve individuals to learn an associative foraging task. We found that the presence of conditioned demonstrators improved focal fish foraging behaviour through the process of social transmission, whereas the presence of inexperienced demonstrators interfered with the learning of the control focal fish. Our results indicate that zebrafish use social learning for finding food and that this CPP paradigm is an efficient assay to study social learning and memory in zebrafish.

  3. Ultraviolet vision and foraging in dip and plunge diving birds

    PubMed Central

    Håstad, Olle; Ernstdotter, Emma; Ödeen, Anders

    2005-01-01

    Many fishes are sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light and display UV markings during courtship. As UV scatters more than longer wavelengths of light, these signals are only effective at short distances, reducing the risk of detection by swimming predators. Such underwater scattering will be insignificant for dip and plunge diving birds, which prey on fishes just below the water surface. One could therefore expect to find adaptations in the eyes of dip and plunge diving birds that tune colour reception to UV signals. We used a molecular method to survey the colour vision tuning of five families of dip or plunge divers and compared the results with those from sister taxa of other foraging methods. We found evidence of extended UV vision only in gulls (Laridae). Based on available evidence, it is more probable that this trait is associated with their terrestrial foraging habits rather than piscivory. PMID:17148194

  4. Ultraviolet vision and foraging in dip and plunge diving birds.

    PubMed

    Håstad, Olle; Ernstdotter, Emma; Odeen, Anders

    2005-09-22

    Many fishes are sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light and display UV markings during courtship. As UV scatters more than longer wavelengths of light, these signals are only effective at short distances, reducing the risk of detection by swimming predators. Such underwater scattering will be insignificant for dip and plunge diving birds, which prey on fishes just below the water surface. One could therefore expect to find adaptations in the eyes of dip and plunge diving birds that tune colour reception to UV signals. We used a molecular method to survey the colour vision tuning of five families of dip or plunge divers and compared the results with those from sister taxa of other foraging methods. We found evidence of extended UV vision only in gulls (Laridae). Based on available evidence, it is more probable that this trait is associated with their terrestrial foraging habits rather than piscivory.

  5. Foraging dives by post-breeding northern pintails

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Michael R.

    1983-01-01

    Dabbling ducks (Anatini), including Northern Pintails (Anas acuta), typically feed by “tipping-up” (Bellrose, Ducks, Geese, and Swans of North America, Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1976) in shallow water. Pintails are not as adapted for diving as members of Aythyini or Oxyurini (Catlett and Johnston, Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 47A:925-931, 1974); however, incidents of foraging dives by small numbers of pintails have been reported (Chapman et al., Br. Birds 52:60, 1959; Bourget and Chapdelaine, Wildfowl 26:55-57, 1975). This paper reports on forage diving by a flock of several hundred pintails. Ecological explanations are suggested to account for the behavior and comparisons with tip-up feeding are presented.

  6. Physical barrier to reduce WP mortalities of foraging waterfowl

    SciTech Connect

    Pochop, P.A.; Cummings, J.L.; Yoder, C.A.; Gossweiler, W.A.

    2000-02-01

    White phosphorus (WP) has been identified as the cause of mortality to certain species of water-fowl at Eagle River Flats, a tidal marsh in Alaska, used as an ordinance impact area by the US Army. A blend of calcium bentonite/organo clays, gravel, and binding polymers was tested for effectiveness as a barrier to reduce duck foraging and mortality. Following the application of the barrier to one of two contaminated ponds, the authors observed greater duck foraging and higher mortality in the untreated pond and no mortality in the treated pond after a year of tidal inundations and ice effects. Emergent vegetation recovered within a year of treatment. WP levels in the barrier were less than the method limit of detection, indicating no migration of WP into the materials. Barrier thickness remained relatively stable over a period of 4 years, and vegetation was found to be important in stabilizing the barrier material.

  7. Responses of late-lactation cows to forage substitutes in low-forage diets supplemented with by-products.

    PubMed

    Hall, M B; Chase, L E

    2014-05-01

    In response to drought-induced forage shortages along with increased corn and soy prices, this study was conducted to evaluate lactation responses of dairy cows to lower-forage diets supplemented with forage substitutes. By-product feeds were used to completely replace corn grain and soybean feeds. Forty-eight late-lactation cows were assigned to 1 of 4 diets using a randomized complete block design with a 2-wk covariate period followed by a 4-wk experimental period. The covariate diet contained corn grain, soybean meal, and 61% forage. Experimental diets contained chopped wheat straw (WS)/sugar beet pulp at 0/12, 3/9, 6/6, or 9/3 percentages of diet dry matter (DM). Corn silage (20%), alfalfa silage (20%), pelleted corn gluten feed (25.5%), distillers grains (8%), whole cottonseed (5%), cane molasses/whey blend (7%), and vitamin and mineral mix with monensin (2.5%) comprised the rest of diet DM. The WS/sugar beet pulp diets averaged 16.5% crude protein, 35% neutral detergent fiber, and 11% starch (DM basis). Cows consuming the experimental diets maintained a 3.5% fat- and protein-corrected milk production (35.2 kg; standard deviation=5.6 kg) that was numerically similar to that measured in the covariate period (35.3 kg; standard deviation=5.0 kg). Intakes of DM and crude protein declined linearly as WS increased, whereas neutral detergent fiber intake increased linearly. Linear increases in time spent ruminating (from 409 to 502 min/d) and eating (from 156 to 223 min/d) were noted as WS inclusion increased. Yields of milk fat and 3.5% fat-and protein-corrected milk did not change as WS increased, but those of protein and lactose declined linearly. Phosphorous intakes were in excess of recommended levels and decreased linearly with increasing WS inclusion. Nutritional model predictions for multiparous cows were closest to actual performance for the National Research Council 2001 model when a metabolizable protein basis was used; primiparous cow performance was

  8. Optimal web investment in sub-optimal foraging conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harmer, Aaron M. T.; Kokko, Hanna; Herberstein, Marie E.; Madin, Joshua S.

    2012-01-01

    Orb web spiders sit at the centre of their approximately circular webs when waiting for prey and so face many of the same challenges as central-place foragers. Prey value decreases with distance from the hub as a function of prey escape time. The further from the hub that prey are intercepted, the longer it takes a spider to reach them and the greater chance they have of escaping. Several species of orb web spiders build vertically elongated ladder-like orb webs against tree trunks, rather than circular orb webs in the open. As ladder web spiders invest disproportionately more web area further from the hub, it is expected they will experience reduced prey gain per unit area of web investment compared to spiders that build circular webs. We developed a model to investigate how building webs in the space-limited microhabitat on tree trunks influences the optimal size, shape and net prey gain of arboricolous ladder webs. The model suggests that as horizontal space becomes more limited, optimal web shape becomes more elongated, and optimal web area decreases. This change in web geometry results in decreased net prey gain compared to webs built without space constraints. However, when space is limited, spiders can achieve higher net prey gain compared to building typical circular webs in the same limited space. Our model shows how spiders optimise web investment in sub-optimal conditions and can be used to understand foraging investment trade-offs in other central-place foragers faced with constrained foraging arenas.

  9. Methane Production of Different Forages in In vitro Ruminal Fermentation

    PubMed Central

    Meale, S. J.; Chaves, A. V.; Baah, J.; McAllister, T. A.

    2012-01-01

    An in vitro rumen batch culture study was completed to compare effects of common grasses, leguminous shrubs and non-leguminous shrubs used for livestock grazing in Australia and Ghana on CH4 production and fermentation characteristics. Grass species included Andropodon gayanus, Brachiaria ruziziensis and Pennisetum purpureum. Leguminous shrub species included Cajanus cajan, Cratylia argentea, Gliricidia sepium, Leucaena leucocephala and Stylosanthes guianensis and non-leguminous shrub species included Annona senegalensis, Moringa oleifera, Securinega virosa and Vitellaria paradoxa. Leaves were harvested, dried at 55°C and ground through a 1 mm screen. Serum bottles containing 500 mg of forage, modified McDougall’s buffer and rumen fluid were incubated under anaerobic conditions at 39°C for 24 h. Samples of each forage type were removed after 0, 2, 6, 12 and 24 h of incubation for determination of cumulative gas production. Methane production, ammonia concentration and proportions of VFA were measured at 24 h. Concentration of aNDF (g/kg DM) ranged from 671 to 713 (grasses), 377 to 590 (leguminous shrubs) and 288 to 517 (non-leguminous shrubs). After 24 h of in vitro incubation, cumulative gas, CH4 production, ammonia concentration, proportion of propionate in VFA and IVDMD differed (p<0.05) within each forage type. B. ruziziensis and G. sepium produced the highest cumulative gas, IVDMD, total VFA, proportion of propionate in VFA and the lowest A:P ratios within their forage types. Consequently, these two species produced moderate CH4 emissions without compromising digestion. Grazing of these two species may be a strategy to reduce CH4 emissions however further assessment in in vivo trials and at different stages of maturity is recommended. PMID:25049482

  10. Foraging modes of Mesozoic birds and non-avian theropods.

    PubMed

    Glen, Christopher L; Bennett, Michael B

    2007-11-06

    The origin and early evolution of birds has been a major topic in evolutionary biology. In the 20th century, evolutionary scenarios posited either ground-based bird ancestors or tree-dwelling ancestors. This has since been recognised as a false dichotomy [1]. We suggest that part of the problem is the loose categorisation of many extant bird species as either ground or tree locomotors when considering hind-limb function [2-7]. In reality these are not mutually exclusive alternatives. Many extant birds exhibit different degrees of ground- and tree-based behaviours. We thus propose they can be better placed on a spectrum - rather than a dichotomy - according to the extent of ground and/or tree foraging they exhibit. To test this system we analysed the toe claws of 249 species of Holocene birds, revealing that claw curvature increases as tree foraging becomes more predominant. Improved claw morphometrics allow more direct comparisons between extant and extinct birds in order to infer the behaviours of the latter. In contrast to previous studies [2-6], we find that claw curvatures of Mesozoic birds and closely related non-avian theropod dinosaurs, differ significantly from Holocene arboreal birds and more closely resemble those of Holocene 'ground-foraging' birds.

  11. COMMUNICATION: Stochastic resonance and the evolution of Daphnia foraging strategy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dees, Nathan D.; Bahar, Sonya; Moss, Frank

    2008-12-01

    Search strategies are currently of great interest, with reports on foraging ranging from albatrosses and spider monkeys to microzooplankton. Here, we investigate the role of noise in optimizing search strategies. We focus on the zooplankton Daphnia, which move in successive sequences consisting of a hop, a pause and a turn through an angle. Recent experiments have shown that their turning angle distributions (TADs) and underlying noise intensities are similar across species and age groups, suggesting an evolutionary origin of this internal noise. We explore this hypothesis further with a digital simulation (EVO) based solely on the three central Darwinian themes: inheritability, variability and survivability. Separate simulations utilizing stochastic resonance (SR) indicate that foraging success, and hence fitness, is maximized at an optimum TAD noise intensity, which is represented by the distribution's characteristic width, σ. In both the EVO and SR simulations, foraging success is the criterion, and the results are the predicted characteristic widths of the TADs that maximize success. Our results are twofold: (1) the evolving characteristic widths achieve stasis after many generations; (2) as a hop length parameter is changed, variations in the evolved widths generated by EVO parallel those predicted by SR. These findings provide support for the hypotheses that (1) σ is an evolved quantity and that (2) SR plays a role in evolution.

  12. Imidacloprid alters foraging and decreases bee avoidance of predators.

    PubMed

    Tan, Ken; Chen, Weiwen; Dong, Shihao; Liu, Xiwen; Wang, Yuchong; Nieh, James C

    2014-01-01

    Concern is growing over the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, which can impair honey bee cognition. We provide the first demonstration that sublethal concentrations of imidacloprid can harm honey bee decision-making about danger by significantly increasing the probability of a bee visiting a dangerous food source. Apis cerana is a native bee that is an important pollinator of agricultural crops and native plants in Asia. When foraging on nectar containing 40 µg/L (34 ppb) imidacloprid, honey bees (Apis cerana) showed no aversion to a feeder with a hornet predator, and 1.8 fold more bees chose the dangerous feeder as compared to control bees. Control bees exhibited significant predator avoidance. We also give the first evidence that foraging by A. cerana workers can be inhibited by sublethal concentrations of the pesticide, imidacloprid, which is widely used in Asia. Compared to bees collecting uncontaminated nectar, 23% fewer foragers returned to collect the nectar with 40 µg/L imidacloprid. Bees that did return respectively collected 46% and 63% less nectar containing 20 µg/L and 40 µg/L imidacloprid. These results suggest that the effects of neonicotinoids on honey bee decision-making and other advanced cognitive functions should be explored. Moreover, research should extend beyond the classic model, the European honey bee (A. mellifera), to other important bee species.

  13. Swimming speed and foraging strategies of northern elephant seals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassrick, Jason L.; Crocker, Daniel E.; Zeno, Ramona L.; Blackwell, Susanna B.; Costa, Daniel P.; Le Boeuf, Burney J.

    2007-02-01

    We investigated swimming speed, a key variable in both the management of oxygen stores and foraging strategies, and its relationship to diving behaviour in northern elephant seals , Mirounga angustirostris. Swimming speed significantly reduced the dive duration and time at depth for presumed foraging dives, but increased with dive depth. This suggests that the extended duration of deep dives is made possible by physiological adjustments and not by changes in swimming speed or effort. Swimming speeds were similar across sex and age classes despite different predicted minimum cost of transport speeds. All seals exhibited characteristic dive shapes and swimming speed patterns that support their putative functions, but two-dimensional dive shapes and swimming angles varied between sexes and age classes. Mean dive angles on descent were markedly shallow, suggesting use of negative buoyancy to cover horizontal distance while diving. Buoyancy also appeared to affect two-dimensional dive shapes and ability to use extended gliding behaviours between surface and deep foraging zones. Significant differences in diving behaviour between sexes and between young and adult females were evident for various phases of the dive cycle, potentially resulting from physical constraints or differences in dive functionality.

  14. Does testosterone affect foraging behavior in male frogs?

    PubMed

    Desprat, Julia L; Mondy, Nathalie; Lengagne, Thierry

    2017-02-19

    During the breeding season, males often produce costly and extravagant displays or physical ornaments to attract females. Numerous studies have established that testosterone could directly influence the expression of certain sexual signals. However, few of these studies have focused on the indirect role that testosterone could play in modulating prey detection and visual performance to improve the foraging ability of males and hence their acquisition of nutritional resource. In the present study, we experimentally modified the testosterone levels of European tree frog males (Hyla arborea), staying in the natural range previously measured in the field, and we investigated the effect of testosterone on the foraging ability of individuals. Foraging capacities were measured on males placed in an arena with a virtual cricket moving on a computer screen. Our results demonstrated a significant effect of testosterone on the hunting behavior of H. arborea. We observed that testosterone reduced the orientation latency to virtual prey for supplemented males compared to controls. In addition, testosterone significantly increased the attack promptness of male frogs. Finally, our experiment did not demonstrate any impact of testosterone on male attack success.

  15. Evidence for acoustic communication among bottom foraging humpback whales.

    PubMed

    Parks, Susan E; Cusano, Dana A; Stimpert, Alison K; Weinrich, Mason T; Friedlaender, Ari S; Wiley, David N

    2014-12-16

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), a mysticete with a cosmopolitan distribution, demonstrate marked behavioural plasticity. Recent studies show evidence of social learning in the transmission of specific population level traits ranging from complex singing to stereotyped prey capturing behaviour. Humpback whales have been observed to employ group foraging techniques, however details on how individuals coordinate behaviour in these groups is challenging to obtain. This study investigates the role of a novel broadband patterned pulsed sound produced by humpback whales engaged in bottom-feeding behaviours, referred to here as a 'paired burst' sound. Data collected from 56 archival acoustic tag deployments were investigated to determine the functional significance of these signals. Paired burst sound production was associated exclusively with bottom feeding under low-light conditions, predominantly with evidence of associated conspecifics nearby suggesting that the sound likely serves either as a communicative signal to conspecifics, a signal to affect prey behaviour, or possibly both. This study provides additional evidence for individual variation and phenotypic plasticity of foraging behaviours in humpback whales and provides important evidence for the use of acoustic signals among foraging individuals in this species.

  16. Bust economics: foragers choose high quality habitats in lean times

    PubMed Central

    Dickman, Christopher R.

    2016-01-01

    In environments where food resources are spatially variable and temporarily impoverished, consumers that encounter habitat patches with different food density should focus their foraging initially where food density is highest before they move to patches where food density is lower. Increasing missed opportunity costs should drive individuals progressively to patches with lower food density as resources in the initially high food density patches deplete. To test these expectations, we assessed the foraging decisions of two species of dasyurid marsupials (dunnarts: Sminthopsis hirtipes and S. youngsoni) during a deep drought, or bust period, in the Simpson Desert of central Australia. Dunnarts were allowed access to three patches containing different food densities using an interview chamber experiment. Both species exhibited clear preference for the high density over the lower food density patches as measured in total harvested resources. Similarly, when measuring the proportion of resources harvested within the patches, we observed a marginal preference for patches with initially high densities. Models analyzing behavioral choices at the population level found no differences in behavior between the two species, but models analyzing choices at the individual level uncovered some variation. We conclude that dunnarts can distinguish between habitat patches with different densities of food and preferentially exploit the most valuable. As our observations were made during bust conditions, experiments should be repeated during boom times to assess the foraging economics of dunnarts when environmental resources are high. PMID:26839751

  17. Foraging and farming as niche construction: stable and unstable adaptations.

    PubMed

    Rowley-Conwy, Peter; Layton, Robert

    2011-03-27

    All forager (or hunter-gatherer) societies construct niches, many of them actively by the concentration of wild plants into useful stands, small-scale cultivation, burning of natural vegetation to encourage useful species, and various forms of hunting, collectively termed 'low-level food production'. Many such niches are stable and can continue indefinitely, because forager populations are usually stable. Some are unstable, but these usually transform into other foraging niches, not geographically expansive farming niches. The Epipalaeolithic (final hunter-gatherer) niche in the Near East was complex but stable, with a relatively high population density, until destabilized by an abrupt climatic change. The niche was unintentionally transformed into an agricultural one, due to chance genetic and behavioural attributes of some wild plant and animal species. The agricultural niche could be exported with modifications over much of the Old World. This was driven by massive population increase and had huge impacts on local people, animals and plants wherever the farming niche was carried. Farming niches in some areas may temporarily come close to stability, but the history of the last 11,000 years does not suggest that agriculture is an effective strategy for achieving demographic and political stability in the world's farming populations.

  18. Co-evolution of learning complexity and social foraging strategies.

    PubMed

    Arbilly, Michal; Motro, Uzi; Feldman, Marcus W; Lotem, Arnon

    2010-12-21

    Variation in learning abilities within populations suggests that complex learning may not necessarily be more adaptive than simple learning. Yet, the high cost of complex learning cannot fully explain this variation without some understanding of why complex learning is too costly for some individuals but not for others. Here we propose that different social foraging strategies can favor different learning strategies (that learn the environment with high or low resolution), thereby maintaining variable learning abilities within populations. Using a genetic algorithm in an agent-based evolutionary simulation of a social foraging game (the producer-scrounger game) we demonstrate how an association evolves between a strategy based on independent search for food (playing a producer) and a complex (high resolution) learning rule, while a strategy that combines independent search and following others (playing a scrounger) evolves an association with a simple (low resolution) learning rule. The reason for these associations is that for complex learning to have an advantage, a large number of learning steps, normally not achieved by scroungers, are necessary. These results offer a general explanation for persistent variation in cognitive abilities that is based on co-evolution of learning rules and social foraging strategies.

  19. Bust economics: foragers choose high quality habitats in lean times.

    PubMed

    Bleicher, Sonny S; Dickman, Christopher R

    2016-01-01

    In environments where food resources are spatially variable and temporarily impoverished, consumers that encounter habitat patches with different food density should focus their foraging initially where food density is highest before they move to patches where food density is lower. Increasing missed opportunity costs should drive individuals progressively to patches with lower food density as resources in the initially high food density patches deplete. To test these expectations, we assessed the foraging decisions of two species of dasyurid marsupials (dunnarts: Sminthopsis hirtipes and S. youngsoni) during a deep drought, or bust period, in the Simpson Desert of central Australia. Dunnarts were allowed access to three patches containing different food densities using an interview chamber experiment. Both species exhibited clear preference for the high density over the lower food density patches as measured in total harvested resources. Similarly, when measuring the proportion of resources harvested within the patches, we observed a marginal preference for patches with initially high densities. Models analyzing behavioral choices at the population level found no differences in behavior between the two species, but models analyzing choices at the individual level uncovered some variation. We conclude that dunnarts can distinguish between habitat patches with different densities of food and preferentially exploit the most valuable. As our observations were made during bust conditions, experiments should be repeated during boom times to assess the foraging economics of dunnarts when environmental resources are high.

  20. Olfactory eavesdropping by a competitively foraging stingless bee, Trigona spinipes.

    PubMed Central

    Nieh, James C.; Barreto, Lillian S.; Contrera, Felipe A. L.; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera L.

    2004-01-01

    Signals that are perceived over long distances or leave extended spatial traces are subject to eavesdropping. Eavesdropping has therefore acted as a selective pressure in the evolution of diverse animal communication systems, perhaps even in the evolution of functionally referential communication. Early work suggested that some species of stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponini) may use interceptive olfactory eavesdropping to discover food sources being exploited by competitors, but it is not clear if any stingless bee can be attracted to the odour marks deposited by an interspecific competitor. We show that foragers of the aggressive meliponine bee, Trigona spinipes, can detect and orient towards odour marks deposited by a competitor, Melipona rufiventris, and then rapidly take over the food source, driving away or killing their competitors. When searching for food sources at new locations that they are not already exploiting, T. spinipes foragers strongly prefer M. rufiventris odour marks to odour marks deposited by their own nest-mates, whereas they prefer nest-mate odour marks over M. rufiventris odour marks at a location already occupied by T. spinipes nest-mates. Melipona rufiventris foragers flee from T. spinipes odour marks. This olfactory eavesdropping may have played a role in the evolution of potentially cryptic communication mechanisms such as shortened odour trails, point-source only odour marking and functionally referential communication concealed at the nest. PMID:15306311

  1. Seasonality, extractive foraging and the evolution of primate sensorimotor intelligence.

    PubMed

    Melin, Amanda D; Young, Hilary C; Mosdossy, Krisztina N; Fedigan, Linda M

    2014-06-01

    The parallel evolution of increased sensorimotor intelligence in humans and capuchins has been linked to the cognitive and manual demands of seasonal extractive faunivory. This hypothesis is attractive on theoretical grounds, but it has eluded widespread acceptance due to lack of empirical data. For instance, the effects of seasonality on the extractive foraging behaviors of capuchins are largely unknown. Here we report foraging observations on four groups of wild capuchins (Cebus capucinus) inhabiting a seasonally dry tropical forest. We also measured intra-annual variation in temperature, rainfall, and food abundance. We found that the exploitation of embedded or mechanically protected invertebrates was concentrated during periods of fruit scarcity. Such a pattern suggests that embedded insects are best characterized as a fallback food for capuchins. We discuss the implications of seasonal extractive faunivory for the evolution of sensorimotor intelligence (SMI) in capuchins and hominins and suggest that the suite of features associated with SMI, including increased manual dexterity, tool use, and innovative problem solving are cognitive adaptations among frugivores that fall back seasonally on extractable foods. The selective pressures acting on SMI are predicted to be strongest among primates living in the most seasonal environments. This model is proffered to explain the differences in tool use between capuchin lineages, and SMI as an adaptation to extractive foraging is suggested to play an important role in hominin evolution.

  2. Therapeutic Potential of Temperate Forage Legumes: A Review.

    PubMed

    Cornara, Laura; Xiao, Jianbo; Burlando, Bruno

    2016-07-29

    The discovery of bioactive molecules from botanical sources is an expanding field, preferentially oriented to plants having a tradition of use in medicine and providing high yields and availability. Temperate forage legumes are Fabaceae species that include worldwide-important crops. These plants possess therapeutic virtues that have not only been used in veterinary and folk medicine, but have also attracted the interest of official medicine. We have examined here Medicago sativa (alfalfa), Trifolium pratense and T. repens (clovers), Melilotus albus and M. officinalis (sweet clovers), Lotus corniculatus (birdsfoot trefoil), Onobrychis viciifolia (sainfoin), Lespedeza capitata (roundhead lespedeza), and Galega officinalis (goat's rue). The phytochemical complexes of these species contain secondary metabolites whose pharmacological potentials deserve investigation. Major classes of compounds include alkaloids and amines, cyanogenic glycosides, flavonoids, coumarins, condensed tannins, and saponins. Some of these phytochemicals have been related to antihypercholesterolemia, antidiabetic, antimenopause, anti-inflammatory, antiedema, anthelmintic, and kidney protective effects. Two widely prescribed drugs have been developed starting from temperate forage legumes, namely, the antithrombotic warfarin, inspired from sweet clover's coumarin, and the antidiabetic metformin, a derivative of sainfoin's guanidine. Available evidence suggests that temperate forage legumes are a potentially important resource for the extraction of active principles to be used as nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals.

  3. Burrowing and foraging activity of marsh crabs under different ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    New England salt marshes are susceptible to degradation and habitat loss as a result of increased periods of inundation as sea levels rise. Increased inundation may exacerbate marsh degradation that can result from crab burrowing and foraging. Most studies to date have focused on how crab burrowing and foraging can impact the dominant low marsh plant species, Spartina alterniflora. Here we used a mesocosm experiment to examine the relationship of foraging and burrowing activity in two dominant New England crab species, Sesarma reticulatum and Uca pugilator, and the combined effect of inundation, on the dominant high marsh plant species Spartina patens using a 3 × 2 factorial design with three crab treatments (Sesarma, Uca, control) at two levels of inundation (low, high). Plants were labeled with a nitrogen (N) stable isotope tracer to estimate plant consumption by the two crab species. At both levels of inundation, we found that S. reticulatum had a significant negative impact on both above- and below-ground biomass by physically clipping and uprooting the plants, whereas U. pugilator had no significant impact. Low inundation treatments for both crab species had significantly greater aboveground biomass than high inundation. Stable N isotope tracer levels were roughly the same for both S. reticulatum and U. pugilator tissue, suggesting that the impact of S. reticulatum on S. patens was not through consumption of the plants. Overall, our results suggest the pot

  4. Exotic invaders gain foraging benefits by shoaling with native fish

    PubMed Central

    Camacho-Cervantes, Morelia; Garcia, Constantino Macías; Ojanguren, Alfredo F.; Magurran, Anne E.

    2014-01-01

    Freshwater habitats are under increasing threat due to invasions of exotic fish. These invasions typically begin with the introduction of small numbers of individuals unfamiliar with the new habitat. One way in which the invaders might overcome this disadvantage is by associating with native taxa occupying a similar ecological niche. Here we used guppies (Poecilia reticulata) from a feral population in Mexico to test the prediction that exotic shoaling fish can associate with heterospecifics, and that they improve their foraging efficiency by doing so. Guppies have invaded the Mexican High Plateau and are implicated in the declines of many native topminnow (Goodeinae) species. We show that heterospecific associations between guppies and topminnows can deliver the same foraging benefits as conspecific shoals, and that variation in foraging gains is linked to differences in association tendency. These results uncover a mechanism enabling founding individuals to survive during the most vulnerable phase of an invasion and help explain why guppies have established viable populations in many parts of Mexico as well in every continent except Antarctica. PMID:26064552

  5. Foraging and farming as niche construction: stable and unstable adaptations

    PubMed Central

    Rowley-Conwy, Peter; Layton, Robert

    2011-01-01

    All forager (or hunter–gatherer) societies construct niches, many of them actively by the concentration of wild plants into useful stands, small-scale cultivation, burning of natural vegetation to encourage useful species, and various forms of hunting, collectively termed ‘low-level food production’. Many such niches are stable and can continue indefinitely, because forager populations are usually stable. Some are unstable, but these usually transform into other foraging niches, not geographically expansive farming niches. The Epipalaeolithic (final hunter–gatherer) niche in the Near East was complex but stable, with a relatively high population density, until destabilized by an abrupt climatic change. The niche was unintentionally transformed into an agricultural one, due to chance genetic and behavioural attributes of some wild plant and animal species. The agricultural niche could be exported with modifications over much of the Old World. This was driven by massive population increase and had huge impacts on local people, animals and plants wherever the farming niche was carried. Farming niches in some areas may temporarily come close to stability, but the history of the last 11 000 years does not suggest that agriculture is an effective strategy for achieving demographic and political stability in the world's farming populations. PMID:21320899

  6. Bee Swarm Optimization for Medical Web Information Foraging.

    PubMed

    Drias, Yassine; Kechid, Samir; Pasi, Gabriella

    2016-02-01

    The present work is related to Web intelligence and more precisely to medical information foraging. We present here a novel approach based on agents technology for information foraging. An architecture is proposed, in which we distinguish two important phases. The first one is a learning process for localizing the most relevant pages that might interest the user. This is performed on a fixed instance of the Web. The second takes into account the openness and the dynamicity of the Web. It consists on an incremental learning starting from the result of the first phase and reshaping the outcomes taking into account the changes that undergoes the Web. The whole system offers a tool to help the user undertaking information foraging. We implemented the system using a group of cooperative reactive agents and more precisely a colony of artificial bees. In order to validate our proposal, experiments were conducted on MedlinePlus, a benchmark dedicated for research in the domain of Health. The results are promising either for those related to Web regularities and for the response time, which is very short and hence complies the real time constraint.

  7. Behavioural environments and niche construction: the evolution of dim-light foraging in bees.

    PubMed

    Wcislo, William T; Tierney, Simon M

    2009-02-01

    Most bees forage for floral resources during the day, but temporal patterns of foraging activity vary extensively, and foraging in dim-light environments has evolved repeatedly. Facultative dim-light foraging behaviour is known in five of nine families of bees, while obligate behaviour is known in four families and evolved independently at least 19 times. The light intensity under which bees forage varies by a factor of 10(8), and therefore the evolution of dim-light foraging represents the invasion of a new, extreme niche. The repeated evolution of dim-light foraging behaviour in bees allows tests of the hypothesis that behaviour acts as an evolutionary pacemaker. With the exception of one species of Apis, facultative dim-light foragers show no external structural traits that are thought to enable visually mediated flight behaviour in low-light environments. By contrast, most obligate dim-light foragers show a suite of convergent optical traits such as enlarged ocelli and compound eyes. In one intensively studied species (Megalopta genalis) these optical changes are associated with neurobiological changes to enhance photon capture. The available ecological evidence suggests that an escape from competition for pollen and nectar resources and avoidance of natural enemies are driving factors in the evolution of obligate dim-light foraging.

  8. GPS tracking devices reveal foraging strategies of black-legged kittiwakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kotzerka, Jana; Garthe, Stefan; Hatch, Scott A.

    2010-01-01

    The Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla is the most abundant gull species in the world, but some populations have declined in recent years, apparently due to food shortage. Kittiwakes are surface feeders and thus can compensate for low food availability only by increasing their foraging range and/or devoting more time to foraging. The species is widely studied in many respects, but long-distance foraging and the limitations of conventional radio telemetry have kept its foraging behavior largely out of view. The development of Global Positioning System (GPS) loggers is advancing rapidly. With devices as small as 8 g now available, it is possible to use this technology for tracking relatively small species of oceanic birds like kittiwakes. Here we present the first results of GPS telemetry applied to Black-legged Kittiwakes in 2007 in the North Pacific. All but one individual foraged in the neritic zone north of the island. Three birds performed foraging trips only close to the colony (within 13 km), while six birds had foraging ranges averaging about 40 km. The maximum foraging range was 59 km, and the maximum distance traveled was 165 km. Maximum trip duration was 17 h (mean 8 h). An apparently bimodal distribution of foraging ranges affords new insight on the variable foraging behaviour of Black-legged Kittiwakes. Our successful deployment of GPS loggers on kittiwakes holds much promise for telemetry studies on many other bird species of similar size and provides an incentive for applying this new approach in future studies.

  9. The ecological economics of kleptoparasitism: pay-offs from self-foraging versus kleptoparasitism.

    PubMed

    Flower, Tom P; Child, Matthew F; Ridley, Amanda R

    2013-01-01

    Animals commonly steal food from other species, termed interspecific kleptoparasitism, but why animals engage in kleptoparasitism compared with alternate foraging tactics, and under what circumstances they do so, is not fully understood. Determining what specific benefits animals gain from kleptoparasitism could provide valuable insight into its evolution. Here, we investigate the benefits of kleptoparasitism for a population of individually recognizable and free-living fork-tailed drongos (Dicrurus adsimilis) in the southern Kalahari Desert. Drongos engaged in two foraging behaviours: self-foraging for small insects or following other species which they kleptoparasitized for larger terrestrial prey that they could not capture themselves. Kleptoparasitism consequently enabled drongos to exploit a new foraging niche. Kleptoparasitism benefitted drongos most in the morning and on colder days because at these times pay-offs from kleptoparasitism remained stable, while those from self-foraging declined. However, drongos engaged in kleptoparasitism less than expected given the overall high (but more variable) pay-offs from this behaviour, suggesting that kleptoparasitism is a risky foraging tactic and may incur additional foraging costs compared with self-foraging. This is the first study to comprehensively investigate the benefits of facultatively engaging in kleptoparasitism, demonstrating that animals may switch to kleptoparasitism to exploit a new foraging niche when pay-offs exceed those from alternate foraging behaviours.

  10. Understanding visual attention in childhood: Insights from a new visual foraging task.

    PubMed

    Ólafsdóttir, Inga María; Kristjánsson, Tómas; Gestsdóttir, Steinunn; Jóhannesson, Ómar I; Kristjánsson, Árni

    2016-01-01

    A recently developed visual foraging task, involving multiple targets of different types, can provide a rich and dynamic picture of visual attention performance. We measured the foraging performance of 66 children aged 4-7 years, along with measures of two conceptually related constructs, self-regulation and verbal working memory. Our results show that foraging patterns of young children differ from adult patterns. Children have difficulty with foraging for two target types, not only when they are defined by a conjunction of features but, unlike adults, also when they forage simultaneously for two target types that are distinguished from distractors by a single feature. Importantly, such feature/conjunction differences between adults and children are not seen in more traditional single-target visual search tasks. Interestingly, the foraging patterns of the youngest children were slightly more adult-like than of the oldest ones, which may suggest that older children attempt to use strategies that they have not yet fully mastered. The older children were, however, able to complete more trials, during both feature and conjunction foraging. Self-regulation and verbal working memory did not seem to affect foraging strategies, but both were connected with faster and more efficient foraging. We propose that our visual foraging paradigm is a promising avenue for studying the development of visual cognitive abilities.

  11. Honey loading for pollen collection: regulation of crop content in honeybee pollen foragers on leaving hive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harano, Ken-ichi; Mitsuhata-Asai, Akiko; Sasaki, Masami

    2014-07-01

    Before foraging honeybees leave the hive, each bee loads its crop with some amount of honey "fuel" depending on the distance to the food source and foraging experience. For pollen collection, there is evidence that foragers carry additional honey as "glue" to build pollen loads. This study examines whether pollen foragers of the European honeybee Apis mellifera regulate the size of the crop load according to food-source distances upon leaving the hive and how foraging experience affects load regulation. The crop contents of bees foraging on crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica, which has no nectary, were larger than those foraging on nectar from other sources, confirming a previous finding that pollen foragers carry glue in addition to fuel honey from the hive. Crop contents of both waggle dancers and dance followers showed a significant positive correlation with waggle-run durations. These results suggest that bees carry a distance-dependent amount of fuel honey in addition to a fixed amount of glue honey. Crop contents on leaving the hive were statistically larger in dancers than followers. Based on these results, we suggest that pollen foragers use information obtained through foraging experience to adjust crop contents on leaving the hive.

  12. How phylogeny and foraging ecology drive the level of chemosensory exploration in lizards and snakes.

    PubMed

    Baeckens, S; Van Damme, R; Cooper, W E

    2017-03-01

    The chemical senses are crucial for squamates (lizards and snakes). The extent to which squamates utilize their chemosensory system, however, varies greatly among taxa and species' foraging strategies, and played an influential role in squamate evolution. In lizards, 'Scleroglossa' evolved a state where species use chemical cues to search for food (active foragers), whereas 'Iguania' retained the use of vision to hunt prey (ambush foragers). However, such strict dichotomy is flawed as shifts in foraging modes have occurred in all clades. Here, we attempted to disentangle effects of foraging ecology from phylogenetic trait conservatism as leading cause of the disparity in chemosensory investment among squamates. To do so, we used species' tongue-flick rate (TFR) in the absence of ecological relevant chemical stimuli as a proxy for its fundamental level of chemosensory investigation, that is baseline TFR. Based on literature data of nearly 100 species and using phylogenetic comparative methods, we tested whether and how foraging mode and diet affect baseline TFR. Our results show that baseline TFR is higher in active than ambush foragers. Although baseline TFRs appear phylogenetically stable in some lizard taxa, that is a consequence of concordant stability of foraging mode: when foraging mode shifts within taxa, so does baseline TFR. Also, baseline TFR is a good predictor of prey chemical discriminatory ability, as we established a strong positive relationship between baseline TFR and TFR in response to prey. Baseline TFR is unrelated to diet. Essentially, foraging mode, not phylogenetic relatedness, drives convergent evolution of similar levels of squamate chemosensory investigation.

  13. Honey loading for pollen collection: regulation of crop content in honeybee pollen foragers on leaving hive.

    PubMed

    Harano, Ken-ichi; Mitsuhata-Asai, Akiko; Sasaki, Masami

    2014-07-01

    Before foraging honeybees leave the hive, each bee loads its crop with some amount of honey "fuel" depending on the distance to the food source and foraging experience. For pollen collection, there is evidence that foragers carry additional honey as "glue" to build pollen loads. This study examines whether pollen foragers of the European honeybee Apis mellifera regulate the size of the crop load according to food-source distances upon leaving the hive and how foraging experience affects load regulation. The crop contents of bees foraging on crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica, which has no nectary, were larger than those foraging on nectar from other sources, confirming a previous finding that pollen foragers carry glue in addition to fuel honey from the hive. Crop contents of both waggle dancers and dance followers showed a significant positive correlation with waggle-run durations. These results suggest that bees carry a distance-dependent amount of fuel honey in addition to a fixed amount of glue honey. Crop contents on leaving the hive were statistically larger in dancers than followers. Based on these results, we suggest that pollen foragers use information obtained through foraging experience to adjust crop contents on leaving the hive.

  14. Exploring behavior of an unusual megaherbivore: A spatially explicit foraging model of the hippopotamus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lewison, R.L.; Carter, J.

    2004-01-01

    Herbivore foraging theories have been developed for and tested on herbivores across a range of sizes. Due to logistical constraints, however, little research has focused on foraging behavior of megaherbivores. Here we present a research approach that explores megaherbivore foraging behavior, and assesses the applicability of foraging theories developed on smaller herbivores to megafauna. With simulation models as reference points for the analysis of empirical data, we investigate foraging strategies of the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius). Using a spatially explicit individual based foraging model, we apply traditional herbivore foraging strategies to a model hippopotamus, compare model output, and then relate these results to field data from wild hippopotami. Hippopotami appear to employ foraging strategies that respond to vegetation characteristics, such as vegetation quality, as well as spatial reference information, namely distance to a water source. Model predictions, field observations, and comparisons of the two support that hippopotami generally conform to the central place foraging construct. These analyses point to the applicability of general herbivore foraging concepts to megaherbivores, but also point to important differences between hippopotami and other herbivores. Our synergistic approach of models as reference points for empirical data highlights a useful method of behavioral analysis for hard-to-study megafauna. ?? 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Environmental variability drives shifts in the foraging behaviour and reproductive success of an inshore seabird.

    PubMed

    Kowalczyk, Nicole D; Reina, Richard D; Preston, Tiana J; Chiaradia, André

    2015-08-01

    Marine animals forage in areas that aggregate prey to maximize their energy intake. However, these foraging 'hot spots' experience environmental variability, which can substantially alter prey availability. To survive and reproduce animals need to modify their foraging in response to these prey shifts. By monitoring their inter-annual foraging behaviours, we can understand which environmental variables affect their foraging efficiency, and can assess how they respond to environmental variability. Here, we monitored the foraging behaviour and isotopic niche of little penguins (Eudyptula minor), over 3 years (2008, 2011, and 2012) of climatic and prey variability within Port Phillip Bay, Australia. During drought (2008), penguins foraged in close proximity to the Yarra River outlet on a predominantly anchovy-based diet. In periods of heavy rainfall, when water depth in the largest tributary into the bay (Yarra River) was high, the total distance travelled, maximum distance travelled, distance to core-range, and size of core- and home-ranges of penguins increased significantly. This larger foraging range was associated with broad dietary diversity and high reproductive success. These results suggest the increased foraging range and dietary diversity of penguins were a means to maximize resource acquisition rather than a strategy to overcome local depletions in prey. Our results demonstrate the significance of the Yarra River in structuring predator-prey interactions in this enclosed bay, as well as the flexible foraging strategies of penguins in response to environmental variability. This plasticity is central to the survival of this small-ranging, resident seabird species.

  16. Simulating Secondary Succession of Elk Forage Values in a Managed Forest Landscape, Western Washington

    PubMed

    Jenkins; Starkey

    1996-09-01

    Modern timber management practices often influence forage production for elk (Cervus elaphus) on broad temporal and spatial scales in forested landscapes. We incorporated site-specific information on postharvesting forest succession and forage characteristics in a simulation model to evaluate past and future influences of forest management practices on forage values for elk in a commercially managed Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii, PSME)-western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla, TSHE) forest in western Washington. We evaluated future effects of: (1) clear-cut logging 0, 20, and 40% of harvestable stands every five years; (2) thinning 20-year-old Douglas fir forests; and (3) reducing the harvesting cycle from 60 to 45 years. Reconstruction of historical patterns of vegetation succession indicated that forage values peaked in the 1960s and declined from the 1970s to the present, but recent values still were higher than may have existed in the unmanaged landscape in 1945. Increased forest harvesting rates had little short-term influence on forage trends because harvestable stands were scarce. Simulations of forest thinning also produced negligible benefits because thinning did not improve forage productivity appreciably at the stand level. Simulations of reduced harvesting cycles shortened the duration of declining forage values from approximately 30 to 15 years. We concluded that simulation models are useful tools for examining landscape responses of forage production to forest management strategies, but the options examined provided little potential for improving elk forages in the immediate future.KEY WORDS:Cervus elaphus; Elk; Forage; Forest management; Modeling; Secondary succession

  17. A molecular phylogeny of Dorylus army ants provides evidence for multiple evolutionary transitions in foraging niche

    PubMed Central

    Kronauer, Daniel JC; Schöning, Caspar; Vilhelmsen, Lars B; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2007-01-01

    Background Army ants are the prime arthropod predators in tropical forests, with huge colonies and an evolutionary derived nomadic life style. Five of the six recognized subgenera of Old World Dorylus army ants forage in the soil, whereas some species of the sixth subgenus (Anomma) forage in the leaf-litter and some as conspicuous swarm raiders on the forest floor and in the lower vegetation (the infamous driver ants). Here we use a combination of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences to reconstruct the phylogeny of the Dorylus s.l. army ants and to infer the evolutionary transitions in foraging niche and associated morphological adaptations. Results Underground foraging is basal and gave rise to leaf-litter foraging. Leaf-litter foraging in turn gave rise to two derived conditions: true surface foraging (the driver ants) and a reversal to subterranean foraging (a clade with most of the extant Dorylus s.s. species). This means that neither the subgenus Anomma nor Dorylus s.s. is monophyletic, and that one of the Dorylus s.s. lineages adopted subterranean foraging secondarily. We show that this latter group evolved a series of morphological adaptations to underground foraging that are remarkably convergent to the basal state. Conclusion The evolutionary transitions in foraging niche were more complex than previously thought, but our comparative analysis of worker morphology lends strong support to the contention that particular foraging niches have selected for very specific worker morphologies. The surprising reversal to underground foraging is therefore a striking example of convergent morphological evolution. PMID:17408491

  18. Foraging location and site fidelity of the Double-crested Cormorant on Oneida Lake, New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coleman, J.T.H.; Richmond, M.E.; Rudstam, L. G.; Mattison, P.M.

    2005-01-01

    We studied the foraging behavior of the Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) on Oneida Lake, New York, by monitoring the activities of 27 radio-tagged birds in July and August of 1999 and 2000. A total of 224 locations were obtained of cormorants actively diving, and presumed foraging, at the time of detection. A geographic information system was used to examine foraging distances from the nesting island, the water depth and type of substrate at preferred foraging sites, and to estimate kernel home ranges for analysis of individual foraging site fidelity. An explanatory model was developed to determine parameters affecting the distance to cormorant foraging sites. The mean distance to foraging locations of tagged cormorants from the colony site was 2,920 m (SE ?? 180 m, max = 14,190 m), and 52% of the locations were within 2,000 m of the nesting island. No cormorant was observed making daily foraging trips to outside water bodies. Mean foraging distance was greater during morning than in the afternoon, and there was a significant effect of the time of day on distance. There was no significant effect of sex date, a seasonal measure on distance to foraging location. Individual cormorants exhibited fidelity to specific foraging sites. Most cormorants foraged in close proximity to the nesting island much of the time, while those detected further from the island tended to return repeatedly to the same locations. Ninety percent of the foraging locations were in water depths ???7.5 m, and most were in water 2.5-5 m deep. Compositional analysis of habitat use revealed a preference for these depths, along with substrates of cobble with rubble, and silt with clay.

  19. Characterizing Variation of Isotopic Markers in Northern Alaskan Caribou Forages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    VanSomeren, L.; Barboza, P. S.; Gustine, D. D.; Parrett, L. S.; Stricker, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    Isotopic markers in feces and tissues are a potential tool for monitoring the importance of feeding areas for migratory herbivores such as caribou (Rangifer tarandus). Many of these techniques are currently limited by gaps in our knowledge of how these isotopic signatures vary over the landscape. We collected seven species of preferred caribou forages along a latitudinal gradient in the summer ranges of the Central Arctic (9 sites) and Teshekpuk Lake (4 sites) caribou herds during 2011 and 2012. We analyzed forages at peak protein content and at the end of the season to characterize temporal, species-specific, and spatial variation in isotopic markers. The availability of C and N was measured by digestion in vitro. Isotopic signatures of digested samples were used to calculate fractionation that would bias the isotopic signature of feces. The range of values for isotopes (all values ‰) of nitrogen (δ15N -9.5 - +4.3), and sulfur (δ34S -3.6 - +15.5) were greater than those for carbon (δ13C -30.5 - -24.9). Small declines in forage δ13C with latitude (Carex aquatilis, Eriophorum vaginatum, Salix pulchra, and S. richardsonii [all P < 0.01]), season (all species except C. bigelowii [all P ≤ 0.01]), and season x year (S. richardsonii; P = 0.01) were probably associated with changes in water availability. Fractionation of δ13C in early season forages was 0.1 × 1.0 and positively related to C availability (58% × 15%; P < 0.01) with the greatest fractionation for the highly digestible forb Pedicularis langsdorfii (1.43 × 0.44; P < 0.01). Sedges (Carex and Eriophorum) were significantly higher in δ15N than Salix spp. and other dicots (2.0 × 1.1 vs. -2.9 × 2.2; P < 0.01). For Salix spp., δ15N was consistent over the season and between years. Fractionation of δ15N in early season forages was 0.2 × 1.8 and not related to N availability (60% × 17%). For S. pulchra, δ34S may indicate usage of coastal habitats over foothills because δ34S was higher on the

  20. Mercury bioaccumulation and risk to three waterbird foraging guilds is influenced by foraging ecology and breeding stage

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eagles-Smith, C. A.; Ackerman, J.T.; de la Cruz, S.E.W.; Takekawa, J.Y.

    2009-01-01

    We evaluated mercury (Hg) in five waterbird species representing three foraging guilds in San Francisco Bay, CA. Fish-eating birds (Forster's and Caspian terns) had the highest Hg concentrations in thier tissues, but concentrations in an invertebrate-foraging shorebird (black-necked stilt) were also elevated. Foraging habitat was important for Hg exposure as illustrated by within-guild differences, where species more associated with marshes and salt ponds had higher concentrations than those more associated with open-bay and tidal mudflats. Importantly, Hg concentrations increased with time spent in the estuary. Surf scoter concentrations tripled over six months, whereas Forster's terns showed an up to 5-fold increase between estuary arrival and breeding. Breeding waterbirds were at elevated risk of Hg-induced reproductive impairment, particularly Forster's terns, in which 48% of breeding birds were at high risk due to their Hg??levels. Our results highlight the importance of habitat and exposure timing, in addition to trophic position, on waterbird Hg bioaccumulation and risk.

  1. Food foraging of honey bees in a microwave field (2. 45 GHz CW)

    SciTech Connect

    Gary, N.E.; Westerdahl, B.B.

    1982-02-15

    Honey bees were trained to fly 400 m from their colony to an indoor laboratory foraging arena exposed to 2.45 GHz continuous wave microwaves at 5 power densities (0, 5, 10, 20, and 40 mW/cm/sup 2/). Foraging behavior did not differ from controls foraging within an unexposed sham arena in (1) number of round trips completed during a 3-h exposure session, (2) round trip time between the colony and the foraging arena, and (3) the length of time required to navigate the illuminated foraging arena. This study indicates that honey bees would not be adversely affected by foraging within a similar microwave field that would exist in future receiving antennae for the proposed solar power satellite energy transmission system in which power levels are expected to range from 23 mW/cm/sup 2/ at the antenna center to 1 mW/cm/sup 2/ at the edge.

  2. Transcriptional Response to Foraging Experience in the Honey Bee Mushroom Bodies

    PubMed Central

    Lutz, Claudia C.; Rodriguez-Zas, Sandra L.; Fahrbach, S.E.; Robinson, Gene E.

    2011-01-01

    Enriched environmental conditions induce neuroanatomical plasticity in a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate species. We explored the molecular processes associated with experience-induced plasticity, using naturally occurring foraging behavior in adult worker honey bees (Apis mellifera). In honey bees, the mushroom bodies exhibit neuroanatomical plasticity that is dependent on accumulated foraging experience. To investigate molecular processes associated with foraging experience, we performed a time-course microarray study to examine gene expression changes in the mushroom bodies as a function of days foraged. We found almost 500 genes that were regulated by duration of foraging experience. Bioinformatic analyses of these genes suggest that foraging experience is associated with multiple molecular processes in the mushroom bodies, including some that may contribute directly to neuropil growth, and others that could potentially protect the brain from the effects of aging and physiological stress. PMID:21634017

  3. Nocturnal activity and foraging of prairie raccoons (Procyon lotor) in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenwood, R.J.

    1982-01-01

    Nocturnal activity and foraging of 39 radio-equipped raccoons (Procyon lotor) in eastern North Dakota were studied from April-July in 1974-1976. Sixteen of the raccoons were collected after foraging bouts for stomach content analysis. Raccoon activity consisted of running (13%), walking (49%) and local movement in confined areas (38%). Local movement was foraging on large or locally abundant food items. Adult males traveled farther in a night, ran twice as often, and moved locally only half as often as adult females and yearlings. Differences in activity patterns between adult females and yearlings were not detected. There was no difference among age-sex groups in use of foraging habitats. All raccoons foraged extensively in farmyards and wetlands. Stomach content analysis substantiated foraging determinations obtained by radiotelemetry. Principal foods were grain, aquatic animals, rodents, birds and bird eggs.

  4. Whole wheat versus mixed layer diet as supplementary feed to layers foraging a sequence of different forage crops.

    PubMed

    Horsted, K; Hermansen, J E

    2007-05-01

    In many cases health and welfare problems are observed in organic egg production systems, as are high environmental risks related to nutrient leaching. These disadvantages might be reduced if the layers are allowed to utilise their ability to forage to a higher degree thereby reducing the import of nutrients into the system and stimulating the hens to perform a natural behaviour. However, very little is known about the ability of modern high-producing layers to take advantage of foraging to cover their nutritional needs, and the aim of the present work was to clarify this subject. Six flocks, each of 26 hens and one cock, were moved regularly in a rotation between different forage crops for a period of 130 days. Half of the flocks were fed typical layer feed for organic layers and half were fed whole wheat. The forage crops consisted of grass/clover, pea/vetch/oats, lupin and quinoa. At the beginning of the experiment, wheat-fed hens had a lower intake of supplementary feed (wheat) and a lower laying rate, egg weight and body weight. However, after a period of 6 to 7 weeks, the intake of wheat increased to approximately 100 g per hen per day and the laying rate increased to the same level as for the hens fed layer feed. For both groups of hens egg weight and body weight increased during the remaining part of the experiment. Crop analysis revealed different food preferences for hens fed layer feed and wheat-fed hens. Wheat-fed hens ate less of the cultivated seeds, whereas the amounts of plant material, oyster shells, insoluble grit stone and soil were larger in the crops from wheat-fed hens. Floor eggs were significantly more frequent in the hens fed layer feed, whereas wheat-fed hens only rarely laid floor eggs. Irrespective of treatment, hens were found to have excellent health and welfare. We conclude that nutrient-restricted, high-producing organic layers are capable of finding and utilising considerable amounts of different feed items from a cultivated

  5. Food limitation of sea lion pups and the decline of forage off central and southern California.

    PubMed

    McClatchie, Sam; Field, John; Thompson, Andrew R; Gerrodette, Tim; Lowry, Mark; Fiedler, Paul C; Watson, William; Nieto, Karen M; Vetter, Russell D

    2016-03-01

    California sea lions increased from approximately 50 000 to 340 000 animals in the last 40 years, and their pups are starving and stranding on beaches in southern California, raising questions about the adequacy of their food supply. We investigated whether the declining sea lion pup weight at San Miguel rookery was associated with changes in abundance and quality of sardine, anchovy, rockfish and market squid forage. In the last decade off central California, where breeding female sea lions from San Miguel rookery feed, sardine and anchovy greatly decreased in biomass, whereas market squid and rockfish abundance increased. Pup weights fell as forage food quality declined associated with changes in the relative abundances of forage species. A model explained 67% of the variance in pup weights using forage from central and southern California and 81% of the variance in pup weights using forage from the female sea lion foraging range. A shift from high to poor quality forage for breeding females results in food limitation of the pups, ultimately flooding animal rescue centres with starving sea lion pups. Our study is unusual in using a long-term, fishery-independent dataset to directly address an important consequence of forage decline on the productivity of a large marine predator. Whether forage declines are environmentally driven, are due to a combination of environmental drivers and fishing removals, or are due to density-dependent interactions between forage and sea lions is uncertain. However, declining forage abundance and quality was coherent over a large area (32.5-38° N) for a decade, suggesting that trends in forage are environmentally driven.

  6. Food limitation of sea lion pups and the decline of forage off central and southern California

    PubMed Central

    McClatchie, Sam; Field, John; Thompson, Andrew R.; Gerrodette, Tim; Lowry, Mark; Fiedler, Paul C.; Watson, William; Nieto, Karen M.; Vetter, Russell D.

    2016-01-01

    California sea lions increased from approximately 50 000 to 340 000 animals in the last 40 years, and their pups are starving and stranding on beaches in southern California, raising questions about the adequacy of their food supply. We investigated whether the declining sea lion pup weight at San Miguel rookery was associated with changes in abundance and quality of sardine, anchovy, rockfish and market squid forage. In the last decade off central California, where breeding female sea lions from San Miguel rookery feed, sardine and anchovy greatly decreased in biomass, whereas market squid and rockfish abundance increased. Pup weights fell as forage food quality declined associated with changes in the relative abundances of forage species. A model explained 67% of the variance in pup weights using forage from central and southern California and 81% of the variance in pup weights using forage from the female sea lion foraging range. A shift from high to poor quality forage for breeding females results in food limitation of the pups, ultimately flooding animal rescue centres with starving sea lion pups. Our study is unusual in using a long-term, fishery-independent dataset to directly address an important consequence of forage decline on the productivity of a large marine predator. Whether forage declines are environmentally driven, are due to a combination of environmental drivers and fishing removals, or are due to density-dependent interactions between forage and sea lions is uncertain. However, declining forage abundance and quality was coherent over a large area (32.5–38° N) for a decade, suggesting that trends in forage are environmentally driven. PMID:27069651

  7. Multiple-stage decisions in a marine central-place forager.

    PubMed

    Friedlaender, Ari S; Johnston, David W; Tyson, Reny B; Kaltenberg, Amanda; Goldbogen, Jeremy A; Stimpert, Alison K; Curtice, Corrie; Hazen, Elliott L; Halpin, Patrick N; Read, Andrew J; Nowacek, Douglas P

    2016-05-01

    Air-breathing marine animals face a complex set of physical challenges associated with diving that affect the decisions of how to optimize feeding. Baleen whales (Mysticeti) have evolved bulk-filter feeding mechanisms to efficiently feed on dense prey patches. Baleen whales are central place foragers where oxygen at the surface represents the central place and depth acts as the distance to prey. Although hypothesized that baleen whales will target the densest prey patches anywhere in the water column, how depth and density interact to influence foraging behaviour is poorly understood. We used multi-sensor archival tags and active acoustics to quantify Antarctic humpback whale foraging behaviour relative to prey. Our analyses reveal multi-stage foraging decisions driven by both krill depth and density. During daylight hours when whales did not feed, krill were found in deep high-density patches. As krill migrated vertically into larger and less dense patches near the surface, whales began to forage. During foraging bouts, we found that feeding rates (number of feeding lunges per hour) were greatest when prey was shallowest, and feeding rates decreased with increasing dive depth. This strategy is consistent with previous models of how air-breathing diving animals optimize foraging efficiency. Thus, humpback whales forage mainly when prey is more broadly distributed and shallower, presumably to minimize diving and searching costs and to increase feeding rates overall and thus foraging efficiency. Using direct measurements of feeding behaviour from animal-borne tags and prey availability from echosounders, our study demonstrates a multi-stage foraging process in a central place forager that we suggest acts to optimize overall efficiency by maximizing net energy gain over time. These data reveal a previously unrecognized level of complexity in predator-prey interactions and underscores the need to simultaneously measure prey distribution in marine central place forager

  8. Opportunities to enhance performance and efficiency through nutrient synchrony in forage-fed ruminants.

    PubMed

    Hersom, M J

    2008-04-01

    Increasingly, the need for optimized nutrient utilization to address increasing production costs and environmental considerations will necessitate opportunities to improve nutrient synchrony. Historically, attempts at synchronizing nutrient supply in ruminants, particularly in cattle consuming high-forage diets, have met with variable results. The success of nutrient synchrony has been measured primarily in ruminants by increases in microbial yield, microbial efficiency, nutrient utilization, and to a lesser extent, animal performance. Successful synchrony of nutrient supply to cattle consuming forage-based diets faces several challenges. From a feed supply aspect, the challenges to nutrient synchrony include accurately measuring forage intake and consumed forage chemical composition. The issue of forage intake and chemical composition is perhaps the most daunting for producers grazing cattle. Indeed, for forage-fed cattle, the availability of forage protein and carbohydrate can be the most asynchronous aspect of the diet. In most grazed forages, digestion rates of the carbohydrate fractions are much slower than that of the corresponding protein fractions. Additionally, the forage-supplement interaction exerts a large impact on the synchrony of nutrients. The supplemental feedstuffs compose the component of the nutrient synchrony scenario that is most often manipulated to influence synchrony. The supplement type (e.g., starch vs. fiber, dry vs. liquid), nutrient profile, and degradation rates are often prime considerations associated with nutrient synchrony on high forage diets. Other considerations that warrant attention include temporal intake patterns of the forage and supplement, increased use and types of coproduct supplements, and an assessment of the success of nutrient synchrony. Synchronization of nutrient utilization by forage-fed ruminants has and will continue to encounter challenges for successful outcomes. Ultimately it is the improvement in animal

  9. Optimal foraging: The responses of Peromyscus leucopus to experimental changes in processing time and hunger.

    PubMed

    Ebersole, John P; Wilson, Julian C

    1980-07-01

    Food density, degree of hunger prior to foraging, and food processing difficulty were varied in order to determine their effects on the diet diversity of captive Peromyscus leucopus foraging for buried seeds. No relationship was found between diet diversity and food density. However, diet diversity exhibited a significantly positive relationship with hunger, and a significantly negative relationship with seed processing time. These results strongly support optimal foraging theory.

  10. The tremble dance of honey bees can be caused by hive-external foraging experience.

    PubMed

    Thom, Corinna

    2003-07-01

    The tremble dance of honey bee nectar foragers is part of the communication system that regulates a colony's foraging efficiency. A forager that returns to the hive with nectar, but then experiences a long unloading delay because she has difficulty finding a nectar receiver bee, will perform a tremble dance to recruit additional nectar receiver bees. A forager that experiences a short unloading delay will perform a waggle dance to recruit more nectar foragers. A long unloading delay was until now the only known cause of tremble dancing. However, several studies suggested that factors at the food source may also cause tremble dancing. Here I test whether one of these factors, crowding of nectar foragers at the food source, stimulates tremble dancing because it causes long unloading delays. To do so, I increased the density of nectar foragers at a food source by suddenly reducing the size of an artificial feeder, and recorded the unloading delay experienced by each forager, as well as the dance she performed, if any. A forager's unloading delay was measured as the time interval between entering the hive and either (1) the first unloading contact with a nectar receiver bee, or (2) the start of the first dance, if dancing began before the first unloading contact. I also recorded the unloading delays and dances of nectar foragers that returned from natural food sources. The results show that crowding of nectar foragers at the food source increases the probability of tremble dancing, but does not cause long unloading delays, and that tremble dancers that foraged at natural food sources also often have short unloading delays. When the cause of the tremble dance is not a low supply of nectar receiver bees, the tremble dance may have a function in addition to the recruitment of nectar receiver bees.

  11. Multiple-stage decisions in a marine central-place forager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedlaender, Ari S.; Johnston, David W.; Tyson, Reny B.; Kaltenberg, Amanda; Goldbogen, Jeremy A.; Stimpert, Alison K.; Curtice, Corrie; Hazen, Elliott L.; Halpin, Patrick N.; Read, Andrew J.; Nowacek, Douglas P.

    2016-05-01

    Air-breathing marine animals face a complex set of physical challenges associated with diving that affect the decisions of how to optimize feeding. Baleen whales (Mysticeti) have evolved bulk-filter feeding mechanisms to efficiently feed on dense prey patches. Baleen whales are central place foragers where oxygen at the surface represents the central place and depth acts as the distance to prey. Although hypothesized that baleen whales will target the densest prey patches anywhere in the water column, how depth and density interact to influence foraging behaviour is poorly understood. We used multi-sensor archival tags and active acoustics to quantify Antarctic humpback whale foraging behaviour relative to prey. Our analyses reveal multi-stage foraging decisions driven by both krill depth and density. During daylight hours when whales did not feed, krill were found in deep high-density patches. As krill migrated vertically into larger and less dense patches near the surface, whales began to forage. During foraging bouts, we found that feeding rates (number of feeding lunges per hour) were greatest when prey was shallowest, and feeding rates decreased with increasing dive depth. This strategy is consistent with previous models of how air-breathing diving animals optimize foraging efficiency. Thus, humpback whales forage mainly when prey is more broadly distributed and shallower, presumably to minimize diving and searching costs and to increase feeding rates overall and thus foraging efficiency. Using direct measurements of feeding behaviour from animal-borne tags and prey availability from echosounders, our study demonstrates a multi-stage foraging process in a central place forager that we suggest acts to optimize overall efficiency by maximizing net energy gain over time. These data reveal a previously unrecognized level of complexity in predator-prey interactions and underscores the need to simultaneously measure prey distribution in marine central place forager

  12. Multiple-stage decisions in a marine central-place forager

    PubMed Central

    Friedlaender, Ari S.; Johnston, David W.; Tyson, Reny B.; Kaltenberg, Amanda; Goldbogen, Jeremy A.; Stimpert, Alison K.; Curtice, Corrie; Hazen, Elliott L.; Halpin, Patrick N.; Read, Andrew J.; Nowacek, Douglas P.

    2016-01-01

    Air-breathing marine animals face a complex set of physical challenges associated with diving that affect the decisions of how to optimize feeding. Baleen whales (Mysticeti) have evolved bulk-filter feeding mechanisms to efficiently feed on dense prey patches. Baleen whales are central place foragers where oxygen at the surface represents the central place and depth acts as the distance to prey. Although hypothesized that baleen whales will target the densest prey patches anywhere in the water column, how depth and density interact to influence foraging behaviour is poorly understood. We used multi-sensor archival tags and active acoustics to quantify Antarctic humpback whale foraging behaviour relative to prey. Our analyses reveal multi-stage foraging decisions driven by both krill depth and density. During daylight hours when whales did not feed, krill were found in deep high-density patches. As krill migrated vertically into larger and less dense patches near the surface, whales began to forage. During foraging bouts, we found that feeding rates (number of feeding lunges per hour) were greatest when prey was shallowest, and feeding rates decreased with increasing dive depth. This strategy is consistent with previous models of how air-breathing diving animals optimize foraging efficiency. Thus, humpback whales forage mainly when prey is more broadly distributed and shallower, presumably to minimize diving and searching costs and to increase feeding rates overall and thus foraging efficiency. Using direct measurements of feeding behaviour from animal-borne tags and prey availability from echosounders, our study demonstrates a multi-stage foraging process in a central place forager that we suggest acts to optimize overall efficiency by maximizing net energy gain over time. These data reveal a previously unrecognized level of complexity in predator–prey interactions and underscores the need to simultaneously measure prey distribution in marine central place

  13. Spatial working memory for clustered and linear configurations of sites in a virtual reality foraging task.

    PubMed

    De Lillo, Carlo; James, Frances C

    2012-08-01

    Two experiments using an immersive virtual reality foraging environment determined the spatial strategies spontaneously deployed by people in a foraging task and the effects on immediate serial recall of trajectories though the foraging space, which could conform or violate specific organisational constraints. People benefitted from the use of organised search patterns when attempting to monitor their travel though either a clustered "patchy" space or a matrix of locations. The results are discussed within a comparative framework.

  14. Identifying robustness in the regulation of collective foraging of ant colonies using an interaction-based model with backward bifurcation.

    PubMed

    Udiani, Oyita; Pinter-Wollman, Noa; Kang, Yun

    2015-02-21

    Collective behaviors in social insect societies often emerge from simple local rules. However, little is known about how these behaviors are dynamically regulated in response to environmental changes. Here, we use a compartmental modeling approach to identify factors that allow harvester ant colonies to regulate collective foraging activity in response to their environment. We propose a set of differential equations describing the dynamics of: (1) available foragers inside the nest, (2) active foragers outside the nest, and (3) successful returning foragers, to understand how colony-specific parameters, such as baseline number of foragers, interactions among foragers, food discovery rates, successful forager return rates, and foraging duration might influence collective foraging dynamics, while maintaining functional robustness to perturbations. Our analysis indicates that the model can undergo a forward (transcritical) bifurcation or a backward bifurcation depending on colony-specific parameters. In the former case, foraging activity persists when the average number of recruits per successful returning forager is larger than one. In the latter case, the backward bifurcation creates a region of bistability in which the size and fate of foraging activity depends on the distribution of the foraging workforce among the model's compartments. We validate the model with experimental data from harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) and perform sensitivity analysis. Our model provides insights on how simple, local interactions can achieve an emergent and robust regulatory system of collective foraging activity in ant colonies.

  15. A bioenergetics modeling evaluation of top-down control of ruffe in the St. Louis River, western Lake Superior

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mayo, Kathleen R.; Selgeby, James H.; McDonald, Michael E.

    1998-01-01

    Ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus), were accidentally introduced into the St. Louis River estuary, western Lake Superior, in the mid 1980s and it was feared that they might affect native fish through predation on eggs and competition for forage and habitat. In an effort to control the abundance of ruffe and limit dispersal, a top-down control strategy using predators was implemented in 1989. We used bioenergetics modeling to examine the efficacy of top-down control in the St. Louis River from 1991 to 1994. Five predators--northern pike (Esox lucius), walleye (Stizostedion vitreum vitreum), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieui), brown bullhead (Ictalurus nebulosus), and yellow perch (Perca flavescens)--were modeled to determine their consumption of ruffe and four other native prey species-spottail shiner (Notropis hudsonius), emerald shiner (Notropis atherinoides), yellow perch (Perca flavescens), and black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus). Although predators ate as much as 47% of the ruffe biomass in 1 year, they were not able to halt the increase in ruffe abundance. The St. Louis River is an open system that allows predators to move freely out of the system, and the biomass of managed predators did not increase. A selectivity index showed all five predators selected the native prey and avoided ruffe. The St. Louis River has several predator and prey species creating many complex predator-prey interactions; and top-down control of ruffe by the predators examined in this study did not occur.

  16. Foraging mode and evolution of strike-induced chemosensory searching in lizards.

    PubMed

    Cooper, William E

    2003-04-01

    Strike-induced chemosensory searching (SICS) in lizards and snakes is a means of relocating prey by scent-trailing. The two main components of SICS are an elevated tongue-flick rate for vomerolfactory sampling after biting prey (PETF) and searching movements. In combination, these behaviors permit scent-trailing. Prey chemical discrimination, which is a prerequisite for SICS, is present in active foragers, but not in ambush foragers. Using comparative data. I show that searching movements and SICS have undergone correlated evolution with foraging mode and with prey chemical discrimination in lizards. This suggests that active foraging selects for prey chemical discrimination, which is then employed to search for escaped prey using the typical movements and tongue-flicking behaviors of active foragers. SICS in lizards is simply heightened active foraging after biting prey. In nonvenomous snakes, SICS is similar to that in lizards but is not restricted to active foragers. Only highly venomous snakes voluntarily release dangerous prey upon envenomation, pause to let the venom incapacitate the prey, and then relocate the prey by scent-trailing. PETF was observed in two ambush foragers and is not evolutionarily correlated with foraging mode or searching movements. Because it occurs in species lacking prey chemical discrimination, such PETF may be a response to gustatory cues or to internal chemicals not encountered on surfaces or trails of uninjured prey.

  17. The Dynamics of Foraging Trails in the Tropical Arboreal Ant Cephalotes goniodontus

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Deborah M.

    2012-01-01

    The foraging behavior of the arboreal turtle ant, Cephalotes goniodontus, was studied in the tropical dry forest of western Mexico. The ants collected mostly plant-derived food, including nectar and fluids collected from the edges of wounds on leaves, as well as caterpillar frass and lichen. Foraging trails are on small pieces of ephemeral vegetation, and persist in exactly the same place for 4–8 days, indicating that food sources may be used until they are depleted. The species is polydomous, occupying many nests which are abandoned cavities or ends of broken branches in dead wood. Foraging trails extend from trees with nests to trees with food sources. Observations of marked individuals show that each trail is travelled by a distinct group of foragers. This makes the entire foraging circuit more resilient if a path becomes impassable, since foraging in one trail can continue while a different group of ants forms a new trail. The colony’s trails move around the forest from month to month; from one year to the next, only one colony out of five was found in the same location. There is continual searching in the vicinity of trails: ants recruited to bait within 3 bifurcations of a main foraging trail within 4 hours. When bait was offered on one trail, to which ants recruited, foraging activity increased on a different trail, with no bait, connected to the same nest. This suggests that the allocation of foragers to different trails is regulated by interactions at the nest. PMID:23209749

  18. The dynamics of foraging trails in the tropical arboreal ant Cephalotes goniodontus.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Deborah M

    2012-01-01

    The foraging behavior of the arboreal turtle ant, Cephalotes goniodontus, was studied in the tropical dry forest of western Mexico. The ants collected mostly plant-derived food, including nectar and fluids collected from the edges of wounds on leaves, as well as caterpillar frass and lichen. Foraging trails are on small pieces of ephemeral vegetation, and persist in exactly the same place for 4-8 days, indicating that food sources may be used until they are depleted. The species is polydomous, occupying many nests which are abandoned cavities or ends of broken branches in dead wood. Foraging trails extend from trees with nests to trees with food sources. Observations of marked individuals show that each trail is travelled by a distinct group of foragers. This makes the entire foraging circuit more resilient if a path becomes impassable, since foraging in one trail can continue while a different group of ants forms a new trail. The colony's trails move around the forest from month to month; from one year to the next, only one colony out of five was found in the same location. There is continual searching in the vicinity of trails: ants recruited to bait within 3 bifurcations of a main foraging trail within 4 hours. When bait was offered on one trail, to which ants recruited, foraging activity increased on a different trail, with no bait, connected to the same nest. This suggests that the allocation of foragers to different trails is regulated by interactions at the nest.

  19. The Social Cognition of Social Foraging: Partner Selection by Underlying Valuation

    PubMed Central

    DELTON, ANDREW W.; ROBERTSON, THERESA E.

    2012-01-01

    Humans and other animals have a variety of psychological abilities tailored to the demands of asocial foraging, that is, foraging without coordination or competition with other conspecifics. Human foraging, however, also includes a unique element, the creation of resource pooling systems. In this type of social foraging, individuals contribute when they have excess resources and receive provisioning when in need. Is this behavior produced by the same psychology as asocial foraging? If so, foraging partners should be judged by the same criteria used to judge asocial patches of resources: the net energetic benefits they provide. The logic of resource pooling speaks against this. Maintaining such a system requires the ability to judge others not on their short-term returns, but on the psychological variables that guide their behavior over the long-term. We test this idea in a series of five studies using an implicit measure of categorization. Results showed that (1) others are judged by the costs they incur (a variable not relevant to asocial foraging) whereas (2) others are not judged by the benefits they provide when benefits provided are unrevealing of underlying psychological variables (despite this variable being relevant to asocial foraging). These results are suggestive of a complex psychology designed for both social and asocial foraging. PMID:23162372

  20. Marine foraging ecology influences mercury bioaccumulation in deep-diving northern elephant seals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterson, Sarah H.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Costa, Daniel P.

    2015-01-01

    Mercury contamination of oceans is prevalent worldwide and methylmercury concentrations in the mesopelagic zone (200–1000 m) are increasing more rapidly than in surface waters. Yet mercury bioaccumulation in mesopelagic predators has been understudied. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) biannually travel thousands of kilometres to forage within coastal and open-ocean regions of the northeast Pacific Ocean. We coupled satellite telemetry, diving behaviour and stable isotopes (carbon and nitrogen) from 77 adult females, and showed that variability among individuals in foraging location, diving depth and δ13C values were correlated with mercury concentrations in blood and muscle. We identified three clusters of foraging strategies, and these resulted in substantially different mercury concentrations: (i) deeper-diving and offshore-foraging seals had the greatest mercury concentrations, (ii) shallower-diving and offshore-foraging seals had intermediate levels, and (iii) coastal and more northerly foraging seals had the lowest mercury concentrations. Additionally, mercury concentrations were lower at the end of the seven-month-long foraging trip (n = 31) than after the two-month- long post-breeding trip (n = 46). Our results indicate that foraging behaviour influences mercury exposure and mesopelagic predators foraging in the northeast Pacific Ocean may be at high risk for mercury bioaccumulation.

  1. Marine foraging ecology influences mercury bioaccumulation in deep-diving northern elephant seals

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Sarah H.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Costa, Daniel P.

    2015-01-01

    Mercury contamination of oceans is prevalent worldwide and methylmercury concentrations in the mesopelagic zone (200–1000 m) are increasing more rapidly than in surface waters. Yet mercury bioaccumulation in mesopelagic predators has been understudied. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) biannually travel thousands of kilometres to forage within coastal and open-ocean regions of the northeast Pacific Ocean. We coupled satellite telemetry, diving behaviour and stable isotopes (carbon and nitrogen) from 77 adult females, and showed that variability among individuals in foraging location, diving depth and δ13C values were correlated with mercury concentrations in blood and muscle. We identified three clusters of foraging strategies, and these resulted in substantially different mercury concentrations: (i) deeper-diving and offshore-foraging seals had the greatest mercury concentrations, (ii) shallower-diving and offshore-foraging seals had intermediate levels, and (iii) coastal and more northerly foraging seals had the lowest mercury concentrations. Additionally, mercury concentrations were lower at the end of the seven-month-long foraging trip (n = 31) than after the two-month- long post-breeding trip (n = 46). Our results indicate that foraging behaviour influences mercury exposure and mesopelagic predators foraging in the northeast Pacific Ocean may be at high risk for mercury bioaccumulation. PMID:26085591

  2. Pollen foraging: learning a complex motor skill by bumblebees (Bombus terrestris)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raine, Nigel E.; Chittka, Lars

    2007-06-01

    To investigate how bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) learn the complex motor skills involved in pollen foraging, we observed naïve workers foraging on arrays of nectarless poppy flowers (Papaver rhoeas) in a greenhouse. Foraging skills were quantified by measuring the pollen load collected during each foraging bout and relating this to the number of flowers visited and bout duration on two consecutive days. The pollen standing crop (PSC) in each flower decreased drastically from 0530 to 0900 hours. Therefore, we related foraging performance to the changing levels of pollen available (per flower) and found that collection rate increased over the course of four consecutive foraging bouts (comprising between 277 and 354 individual flower visits), suggesting that learning to forage for pollen represents a substantial time investment for individual foragers. The pollen collection rate and size of pollen loads collected at the start of day 2 were markedly lower than at the end of day 1, suggesting that components of pollen foraging behaviour could be subject to imperfect overnight retention. Our results suggest that learning the necessary motor skills to collect pollen effectively from morphologically simple flowers takes three times as many visits as learning how to handle the most morphologically complex flowers to extract nectar, potentially explaining why bees are more specialised in their choice of pollen flowers.

  3. Diet Overlap and Foraging Activity between Feral Pigs and Native Peccaries in the Pantanal

    PubMed Central

    Galetti, Mauro; Camargo, Hiléia; Siqueira, Tadeu; Keuroghlian, Alexine; Donatti, Camila I.; Jorge, Maria Luisa S. P.; Pedrosa, Felipe; Kanda, Claudia Z.; Ribeiro, Milton C.

    2015-01-01

    Inter-specific competition is considered one of the main selective pressures affecting species distribution and coexistence. Different species vary in the way they forage in order to minimize encounters with their competitors and with their predators. However, it is still poorly known whether and how native species change their foraging behavior in the presence of exotic species, particularly in South America. Here we compare diet overlap of fruits and foraging activity period of two sympatric native ungulates (the white-lipped peccary, Tayassu pecari, and the collared peccary, Pecari tajacu) with the invasive feral pig (Sus scrofa) in the Brazilian Pantanal. We found high diet overlap between white-lipped peccaries and feral pigs, but low overlap between collared peccaries and feral pigs. Furthermore, we found that feral pigs may influence the foraging period of both native peccaries, but in different ways. In the absence of feral pigs, collared peccary activity peaks in the early evening, possibly allowing them to avoid white-lipped peccary activity peaks, which occur in the morning. In the presence of feral pigs, collared peccaries forage mostly in early morning, while white-lipped peccaries forage throughout the day. Our results indicate that collared peccaries may avoid foraging at the same time as white-lipped peccaries. However, they forage during the same periods as feral pigs, with whom they have lower diet overlap. Our study highlights how an exotic species may alter interactions between native species by interfering in their foraging periods. PMID:26536608

  4. Remote sensing of endangered species foraging habitats: a wood stork example

    SciTech Connect

    Jensen, J.R.; Hodgson, M.E.; Mackey, H.E. Jr.; Coulter, M.

    1986-03-01

    Potential foraging sites for an endangered species, the wood stork, were identified using thematic mapper data for May 1984, for a section of north-central Georgia. This was accomplished using innovative clustering techniques applied to known wood stork foraging sites around the Birdsville Colony in Georgia. The signatures for known sites were then geographically extended to a 1,520-square-kilometer region surrounding the Birdsville Colony. Thematic maps were produced, and foraging area acreages computed providing a regional assessment of existing and potential wood stork foraging sits. 16 refs., 6 figs.

  5. Simulating secondary succession of elk forage values in a managed forest landscape, western Washington

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, Kurt; Starkey, Edward

    1996-09-01

    Modern timber management practices often influence forage production for elk ( Cervus elaphus) on broad temporal and spatial scales in forested landscapes. We incorporated site-specific information on postharvesting forest succession and forage characteristics in a simulation model to evaluate past and future influences of forest management practices on forage values for elk in a commercially managed Douglas fir ( Pseudotsuga menziesii, PSME)-western hemlock ( Tsuga heterophylla, TSHE) forest in western Washington. We evaluated future effects of: (1) clear-cut logging 0, 20, and 40% of harvestable stands every five years; (2) thinning 20-year-old Douglas fir forests; and (3) reducing the harvesting cycle from 60 to 45 years. Reconstruction of historical patterns of vegetation succession indicated that forage values peaked in the 1960s and declined from the 1970s to the present, but recent values still were higher than may have existed in the unmanaged landscape in 1945. Increased forest harvesting rates had little short-term influence on forage trends because harvestable stands were scarce. Simulations of forest thinning also produced negligible benefits because thinning did not improve forage productivity appreciably at the stand level. Simulations of reduced harvesting cycles shortened the duration of declining forage values from approximately 30 to 15 years. We concluded that simulation models are useful tools for examining landscape responses of forage production to forest management strategies, but the options examined provided little potential for improving elk forages in the immediate future.

  6. Simulating secondary succession of elk forage values in a managed forest landscape, western Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jenkins, Kurt J.; Starkey, Edward E.

    1996-01-01

    Modern timber management practices often influence forage production for elk (Cervus elaphus) on broad temporal and spatial scales in forested landscapes. We incorporated site-specific information on postharvesting forest succession and forage characteristics in a simulation model to evaluate past and future influences of forest management practices on forage values for elk in a commercially managed Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii, PSME)-western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla, TSHE) forest in western Washington. We evaluated future effects of: (1) clear-cut logging 0, 20, and 40% of harvestable stands every five years; (2) thinning 20-year-old Douglas fir forests; and (3) reducing the harvesting cycle from 60 to 45 years. Reconstruction of historical patterns of vegetation succession indicated that forage values peaked in the 1960s and declined from the 1970s to the present, but recent values still were higher than may have existed in the unmanaged landscape in 1945. Increased forest harvesting rates had little short-term influence on forage trends because harvestable stands were scarce. Simulations of forest thinning also produced negligible benefits because thinning did not improve forage productivity appreciably at the stand level. Simulations of reduced harvesting cycles shortened the duration of declining forage values from approximately 30 to 15 years. We concluded that simulation models are useful tools for examining landscape responses of forage production to forest management strategies, but the options examined provided little potential for improving elk forages in the immediate future.

  7. Marine foraging ecology influences mercury bioaccumulation in deep-diving northern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Sarah H; Ackerman, Joshua T; Costa, Daniel P

    2015-07-07

    Mercury contamination of oceans is prevalent worldwide and methylmercury concentrations in the mesopelagic zone (200-1000 m) are increasing more rapidly than in surface waters. Yet mercury bioaccumulation in mesopelagic predators has been understudied. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) biannually travel thousands of kilometres to forage within coastal and open-ocean regions of the northeast Pacific Ocean. We coupled satellite telemetry, diving behaviour and stable isotopes (carbon and nitrogen) from 77 adult females, and showed that variability among individuals in foraging location, diving depth and δ(13)C values were correlated with mercury concentrations in blood and muscle. We identified three clusters of foraging strategies, and these resulted in substantially different mercury concentrations: (i) deeper-diving and offshore-foraging seals had the greatest mercury concentrations, (ii) shallower-diving and offshore-foraging seals had intermediate levels, and (iii) coastal and more northerly foraging seals had the lowest mercury concentrations. Additionally, mercury concentrations were lower at the end of the seven-month-long foraging trip (n = 31) than after the two-month- long post-breeding trip (n = 46). Our results indicate that foraging behaviour influences mercury exposure and mesopelagic predators foraging in the northeast Pacific Ocean may be at high risk for mercury bioaccumulation.

  8. Forager size and ecology of Acromyrmex coronatus and other leaf-cutting ants in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Wetterer, James K

    1995-12-01

    I compare forager size and foraging ecology of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex coronatus (Fabricius) with published data on three other leaf-cutter species in Costa Rica, Atta cephalotes (L.), Acromyrmex octospinosus (Reich), and Acromyrmex volcanus Wheeler. Intra-and interspecific differences in forager size in these leaf-cutting ants appear to reflect the economics of harvesting different preferred resources. Ac. coronatus colonies have relatively small foragers (mean mass=3.4±1.4 mg) that cut almost exclusively the thin, soft leaves and other parts of small herbaceous plants. Similarly, small A. cephalotes colonies have small foragers (3.3±1.0 mg) that attack the leaves of small herbaceous plants. In contrast, mature A. cephalotes colonies have a wider sizerange of foragers (7.3±4.1 mg) that primarily attack the leaves of trees, with larger foragers cutting thicker, tougher leaves. In A. cephalotes, the match of forager size to leaf type (both ontogenetically and behaviorally) increases foraging efficiency. Extreme forager polymorphism in mature A. cephalotes colonies appears to broaden the diversity of tree species that they can exploit efficiently. Ac. octospinosus and Ac. volcanus both have large, relatively monomorphic foragers (13.3±4.2 mg and 30.6±4.3 mg, respectively) that typically scavenge for pieces of fallen vegetation, such as dead leaves, fruit, and flowers, in addition to cutting herbs. The large foragers of Ac. octospinosus and Ac. volcanus appear to be well suited as generalist foragers, able to cut or collect any desirable vegetation encountered. Ac. coronatus is similar to A. cephalotes in other ways. Both Ac. coronatus and A. cephalotes establish and maintain cleared trunk trails for foraging, and both have minima workers that "hitchhike" on the loads carried by foragers, apparently serving to protect the larger foragers from attack by phorid flies. Trunk trails and hitchhikers are not known for Ac. octospinosus and Ac. volcanus. That A

  9. Can video playback provide social information for foraging blue tits?

    PubMed Central

    Rowland, Hannah M.; Mappes, Johanna; Thorogood, Rose

    2017-01-01

    Video playback is becoming a common method for manipulating social stimuli in experiments. Parid tits are one of the most commonly studied groups of wild birds. However, it is not yet clear if tits respond to video playback or how their behavioural responses should be measured. Behaviours may also differ depending on what they observe demonstrators encountering. Here we present blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) videos of demonstrators discovering palatable or aversive prey (injected with bitter-tasting Bitrex) from coloured feeding cups. First we quantify variation in demonstrators’ responses to the prey items: aversive prey provoked high rates of beak wiping and head shaking. We then show that focal blue tits respond differently to the presence of a demonstrator on a video screen, depending on whether demonstrators discover palatable or aversive prey. Focal birds faced the video screen more during aversive prey presentations, and made more head turns. Regardless of prey type, focal birds also hopped more frequently during the presence of a demonstrator (compared to a control video of a different coloured feeding cup in an empty cage). Finally, we tested if demonstrators’ behaviour affected focal birds’ food preferences by giving individuals a choice to forage from the same cup as a demonstrator, or from the cup in the control video. We found that only half of the individuals made their choice in accordance to social information in the videos, i.e., their foraging choices were not different from random. Individuals that chose in accordance with a demonstrator, however, made their choice faster than individuals that chose an alternative cup. Together, our results suggest that video playback can provide social cues to blue tits, but individuals vary greatly in how they use this information in their foraging decisions. PMID:28344901

  10. Transport infrastructure shapes foraging habitat in a raptor community.

    PubMed

    Planillo, Aimara; Kramer-Schadt, Stephanie; Malo, Juan E

    2015-01-01

    Transport infrastructure elements are widespread and increasing in size and length in many countries, with the subsequent alteration of landscapes and wildlife communities. Nonetheless, their effects on habitat selection by raptors are still poorly understood. In this paper, we analyzed raptors' foraging habitat selection in response to conventional roads and high capacity motorways at the landscape scale, and compared their effects with those of other variables, such as habitat structure, food availability, and presence of potential interspecific competitors. We also analyzed whether the raptors' response towards infrastructure depends on the spatial scale of observation, comparing the attraction or avoidance behavior of the species at the landscape scale with the response of individuals observed in the proximity of the infrastructure. Based on ecological hypotheses for foraging habitat selection, we built generalized linear mixed models, selected the best models according to Akaike Information Criterion and assessed variable importance by Akaike weights. At the community level, the traffic volume was the most relevant variable in the landscape for foraging habitat selection. Abundance, richness, and diversity values reached their maximum at medium traffic volumes and decreased at highest traffic volumes. Individual species showed different degrees of tolerance toward traffic, from higher abundance in areas with high traffic values to avoidance of it. Medium-sized opportunistic raptors increased their abundance near the traffic infrastructures, large scavenger raptors avoided areas with higher traffic values, and other species showed no direct response to traffic but to the presence of prey. Finally, our cross-scale analysis revealed that the effect of transport infrastructures on the behavior of some species might be detectable only at a broad scale. Also, food availability may attract raptor species to risky areas such as motorways.

  11. Transport Infrastructure Shapes Foraging Habitat in a Raptor Community

    PubMed Central

    Planillo, Aimara; Kramer-Schadt, Stephanie; Malo, Juan E.

    2015-01-01

    Transport infrastructure elements are widespread and increasing in size and length in many countries, with the subsequent alteration of landscapes and wildlife communities. Nonetheless, their effects on habitat selection by raptors are still poorly understood. In this paper, we analyzed raptors’ foraging habitat selection in response to conventional roads and high capacity motorways at the landscape scale, and compared their effects with those of other variables, such as habitat structure, food availability, and presence of potential interspecific competitors. We also analyzed whether the raptors’ response towards infrastructure depends on the spatial scale of observation, comparing the attraction or avoidance behavior of the species at the landscape scale with the response of individuals observed in the proximity of the infrastructure. Based on ecological hypotheses for foraging habitat selection, we built generalized linear mixed models, selected the best models according to Akaike Information Criterion and assessed variable importance by Akaike weights. At the community level, the traffic volume was the most relevant variable in the landscape for foraging habitat selection. Abundance, richness, and diversity values reached their maximum at medium traffic volumes and decreased at highest traffic volumes. Individual species showed different degrees of tolerance toward traffic, from higher abundance in areas with high traffic values to avoidance of it. Medium-sized opportunistic raptors increased their abundance near the traffic infrastructures, large scavenger raptors avoided areas with higher traffic values, and other species showed no direct response to traffic but to the presence of prey. Finally, our cross-scale analysis revealed that the effect of transport infrastructures on the behavior of some species might be detectable only at a broad scale. Also, food availability may attract raptor species to risky areas such as motorways. PMID:25786218

  12. Can video playback provide social information for foraging blue tits?

    PubMed

    Hämäläinen, Liisa; Rowland, Hannah M; Mappes, Johanna; Thorogood, Rose

    2017-01-01

    Video playback is becoming a common method for manipulating social stimuli in experiments. Parid tits are one of the most commonly studied groups of wild birds. However, it is not yet clear if tits respond to video playback or how their behavioural responses should be measured. Behaviours may also differ depending on what they observe demonstrators encountering. Here we present blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) videos of demonstrators discovering palatable or aversive prey (injected with bitter-tasting Bitrex) from coloured feeding cups. First we quantify variation in demonstrators' responses to the prey items: aversive prey provoked high rates of beak wiping and head shaking. We then show that focal blue tits respond differently to the presence of a demonstrator on a video screen, depending on whether demonstrators discover palatable or aversive prey. Focal birds faced the video screen more during aversive prey presentations, and made more head turns. Regardless of prey type, focal birds also hopped more frequently during the presence of a demonstrator (compared to a control video of a different coloured feeding cup in an empty cage). Finally, we tested if demonstrators' behaviour affected focal birds' food preferences by giving individuals a choice to forage from the same cup as a demonstrator, or from the cup in the control video. We found that only half of the individuals made their choice in accordance to social information in the videos, i.e., their foraging choices were not different from random. Individuals that chose in accordance with a demonstrator, however, made their choice faster than individuals that chose an alternative cup. Together, our results suggest that video playback can provide social cues to blue tits, but individuals vary greatly in how they use this information in their foraging decisions.

  13. The Bacterial Communities Associated with Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Foragers

    PubMed Central

    Corby-Harris, Vanessa; Maes, Patrick; Anderson, Kirk E.

    2014-01-01

    The honey bee is a key pollinator species in decline worldwide. As part of a commercial operation, bee colonies are exposed to a variety of agricultural ecosystems throughout the year and a multitude of environmental variables that may affect the microbial balance of individuals and the hive. While many recent studies support the idea of a core microbiota in guts of younger in-hive bees, it is unknown whether this core is present in forager bees or the pollen they carry back to the hive. Additionally, several studies hypothesize that the foregut (crop), a key interface between the pollination environment and hive food stores, contains a set of 13 lactic acid bacteria (LAB) that inoculate collected pollen and act in synergy to preserve pollen stores. Here, we used a combination of 454 based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the microbial communities of forager guts, crops, and corbicular pollen and crop plate counts to show that (1) despite a very different diet, forager guts contain a core microbiota similar to that found in younger bees, (2) corbicular pollen contains a diverse community dominated by hive-specific, environmental or phyllosphere bacteria that are not prevalent in the gut or crop, and (3) the 13 LAB found in culture-based studies are not specific to the crop but are a small subset of midgut or hindgut specific bacteria identified in many recent 454 amplicon-based studies. The crop is dominated by Lactobacillus kunkeei, and Alpha 2.2 (Acetobacteraceae), highly osmotolerant and acid resistant bacteria found in stored pollen and honey. Crop taxa at low abundance include core hindgut bacteria in transit to their primary niche, and potential pathogens or food spoilage organisms seemingly vectored from the pollination environment. We conclude that the crop microbial environment is influenced by worker task, and may function in both decontamination and inoculation. PMID:24740297

  14. Behavioral genomics of honeybee foraging and nest defense

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, Greg J.; Amdam, Gro V.; Schlipalius, David; Emore, Christine; Sardesai, Nagesh; Williams, Christie E.; Rueppell, Olav; Guzmán-Novoa, Ernesto; Arechavaleta-Velasco, Miguel; Chandra, Sathees; Fondrk, M. Kim; Beye, Martin; Page, Robert E.

    2007-04-01

    The honeybee has been the most important insect species for study of social behavior. The recently released draft genomic sequence for the bee will accelerate honeybee behavioral genetics. Although we lack sufficient tools to manipulate this genome easily, quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that influence natural variation in behavior have been identified and tested for their effects on correlated behavioral traits. We review what is known about the genetics and physiology of two behavioral traits in honeybees, foraging specialization (pollen versus nectar), and defensive behavior, and present evidence that map-based cloning of genes is more feasible in the bee than in other metazoans. We also present bioinformatic analyses of candidate genes within QTL confidence intervals (CIs). The high recombination rate of the bee made it possible to narrow the search to regions containing only 17-61 predicted peptides for each QTL, although CIs covered large genetic distances. Knowledge of correlated behavioral traits, comparative bioinformatics, and expression assays facilitated evaluation of candidate genes. An overrepresentation of genes involved in ovarian development and insulin-like signaling components within pollen foraging QTL regions suggests that an ancestral reproductive gene network was co-opted during the evolution of foraging specialization. The major QTL influencing defensive/aggressive behavior contains orthologs of genes involved in central nervous system activity and neurogenesis. Candidates at the other two defensive-behavior QTLs include modulators of sensory signaling ( Am5HT 7 serotonin receptor, AmArr4 arrestin, and GABA-B-R1 receptor). These studies are the first step in linking natural variation in honeybee social behavior to the identification of underlying genes.

  15. Foraging behavior of the dead leaf butterfly, Kallima inachus.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yuchong; Zhou, Chengli; Chen, Xiaoming; Zheng, Hua

    2013-01-01

    The behavioral responses of foraging adults of Kallima inachus (Boisduval) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) to four colors and to six different fermented fruit juices were observed in order to determine the cues used by foraging adults. According to the results, adults did not show a behavioral response to red, yellow, purple, or white artificial flowers without food odors, but flowers with the fermented pear juice strongly attracted them, and they showed a behavioral response to fermented juices of the six fruits (pear, apple, banana, watermelon, orange, and persimmon) with no statistically significant preference. The fruit volatiles were collected using dynamic headspace adsorption, and the volatile components were analyzed by auto thermal-desorption gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to assess which volatiles existed in the fruits. Only alcohols, esters, and ketones were common in the volatiles of all six fermenting fruits. The five volatile components found in the six fruits, as well as two others found to be in other fermented foods by previous studies, were selected to test the behavioral and electroantennogram (EAG) responses of naive adults to estimate behavioral preference and antennal perception. In field behavioral tests, alcohols were the most attractive, followed by esters, while α-pinene, butanone, and acetic acid were much less attractive. Relative to other volatile combinations and ethanol alone, the mixture of ethyl acetate and ethanol attracted the most feeding adults. The number of adults attracted was significantly positively correlated with the concentration of both ethanol and ethyl acetate. The EAG responses of naive adults showed that the EAG responses to 3-methyl-1-butanol, isoamyl acetate, ethyl acetate, α-pinene, butanone, and acetic acid were all higher than those to ethanol (100%) at doses of either 5 µl/mL or 50 µl/mL. Sexual differences only existed in 3-methyl-1-butanol and acetic acid at particular concentrations. Sexual differences

  16. Activity time budget during foraging trips of emperor penguins.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Shinichi; Sato, Katsufumi; Ponganis, Paul J

    2012-01-01

    We developed an automated method using depth and one axis of body acceleration data recorded by animal-borne data loggers to identify activities of penguins over long-term deployments. Using this technique, we evaluated the activity time budget of emperor penguins (n = 10) both in water and on sea ice during foraging trips in chick-rearing season. During the foraging trips, emperor penguins alternated dive bouts (4.8 ± 4.5 h) and rest periods on sea ice (2.5 ± 2.3 h). After recorder deployment and release near the colony, the birds spent 17.9 ± 8.4% of their time traveling until they reached the ice edge. Once at the ice edge, they stayed there more than 4 hours before the first dive. After the first dive, the mean proportions of time spent on the ice and in water were 30.8 ± 7.4% and 69.2 ± 7.4%, respectively. When in the water, they spent 67.9 ± 3.1% of time making dives deeper than 5 m. Dive activity had no typical diurnal pattern for individual birds. While in the water between dives, the birds had short resting periods (1.2 ± 1.7 min) and periods of swimming at depths shallower than 5 m (0.25 ± 0.38 min). When the birds were on the ice, they primarily used time for resting (90.3 ± 4.1% of time) and spent only 9.7 ± 4.1% of time traveling. Thus, it appears that, during foraging trips at sea, emperor penguins traveled during dives >5 m depth, and that sea ice was primarily used for resting. Sea ice probably provides refuge from natural predators such as leopard seals. We also suggest that 24 hours of sunlight and the cycling of dive bouts with short rest periods on sea ice allow emperor penguins to dive continuously throughout the day during foraging trips to sea.

  17. Activity Time Budget during Foraging Trips of Emperor Penguins

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Shinichi; Sato, Katsufumi; Ponganis, Paul J.

    2012-01-01

    We developed an automated method using depth and one axis of body acceleration data recorded by animal-borne data loggers to identify activities of penguins over long-term deployments. Using this technique, we evaluated the activity time budget of emperor penguins (n = 10) both in water and on sea ice during foraging trips in chick-rearing season. During the foraging trips, emperor penguins alternated dive bouts (4.8±4.5 h) and rest periods on sea ice (2.5±2.3 h). After recorder deployment and release near the colony, the birds spent 17.9±8.4% of their time traveling until they reached the ice edge. Once at the ice edge, they stayed there more than 4 hours before the first dive. After the first dive, the mean proportions of time spent on the ice and in water were 30.8±7.4% and 69.2±7.4%, respectively. When in the water, they spent 67.9±3.1% of time making dives deeper than 5 m. Dive activity had no typical diurnal pattern for individual birds. While in the water between dives, the birds had short resting periods (1.2±1.7 min) and periods of swimming at depths shallower than 5 m (0.25±0.38 min). When the birds were on the ice, they primarily used time for resting (90.3±4.1% of time) and spent only 9.7±4.1% of time traveling. Thus, it appears that, during foraging trips at sea, emperor penguins traveled during dives >5 m depth, and that sea ice was primarily used for resting. Sea ice probably provides refuge from natural predators such as leopard seals. We also suggest that 24 hours of sunlight and the cycling of dive bouts with short rest periods on sea ice allow emperor penguins to dive continuously throughout the day during foraging trips to sea. PMID:23185608

  18. Latitudinal Range Influences the Seasonal Variation in the Foraging Behavior of Marine Top Predators

    PubMed Central

    Villegas-Amtmann, Stella; Simmons, Samantha E.; Kuhn, Carey E.; Huckstadt, Luis A.; Costa, Daniel P.

    2011-01-01

    Non-migratory resident species should be capable of modifying their foraging behavior to accommodate changes in prey abundance and availability associated with a changing environment. Populations that are better adapted to change will have higher foraging success and greater potential for survival in the face of climate change. We studied two species of resident central place foragers from temperate and equatorial regions with differing population trends and prey availability associated to season, the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) (CSL) whose population is increasing and the endangered Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) (GSL) whose population is declining. To determine their response to environmental change, we studied and compared their diving behavior using time-depth recorders and satellite location tags and their diet by measuring C and N isotope ratios during a warm and a cold season. Based on latitudinal differences in oceanographic productivity, we hypothesized that the seasonal variation in foraging behavior would differ for these two species. CSL exhibited greater seasonal variability in their foraging behavior as seen in changes to their diving behavior, foraging areas and diet between seasons. Conversely, GSL did not change their diving behavior between seasons, presenting three foraging strategies (shallow, deep and bottom divers) during both. GSL exhibited greater dive and foraging effort than CSL. We suggest that during the warm and less productive season a greater range of foraging behaviors in CSL was associated with greater competition for prey, which relaxed during the cold season when resource availability was greater. GSL foraging specialization suggests that resources are limited throughout the year due to lower primary production and lower seasonal variation in productivity compared to CSL. These latitudinal differences influence their foraging success, pup survival and population growth reflected in contrasting population

  19. Influence of moisture content of forage diets on intake and digestion by sheep.

    PubMed

    Pasha, T N; Prigge, E C; Russell, R W; Bryan, W B

    1994-09-01

    To determine the effect of forage moisture content on intake and digestion kinetics in sheep, a metabolism trial was conducted using 16 mature wethers (44 kg BW) in a completely randomized design. Forage was harvested at two maturities in early spring from a naturalized pasture composed of temperate grass and legume species. Herbage was harvested at either 8 (early) or 16 cm (late) in height and fed after freezing (high-moisture) or as a dried hay. Intakes of DM (grams/[kilogram BW.75.day]), NDF, ADF, and CP (grams/day) (P < .05) and coefficients for DM, NDF, and ADF digestibilities were greater (P < .01) for hay than for high-moisture forage. Mean particulate retention times (MRT) were shorter (P < .05) for high-moisture forage (23.3 h) than for hay (30.7 h) diets. Early-harvested forages had shorter (P < .05) MRT values (23.9 h) than late-cut forages (30.1 h). Fractional passage rates of 1-mm nylon particles of specific gravity (SG) .90, 1.14, and 1.32 through the alimentary tract were influenced by moisture content of the forage (P < .10) and were faster for frozen forages and increased (P < .01) with an increase in SG. Nitrogen retention was greater (P < .01) for the hay than for the high-moisture forage. In situ DM digestion rates, determined using four ruminally fistulated wethers, showed no differences (P = .67) among forages. The results of this study indicate that differences in digestibilities between hays and high-moisture forages are most likely due to differences in digesta passage rates.

  20. The Importance of Predation Risk and Missed Opportunity Costs for Context-Dependent Foraging Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Eccard, Jana A.; Liesenjohann, Thilo

    2014-01-01

    Correct assessment of risks and costs of foraging is vital for the fitness of foragers. Foragers should avoid predation risk and balance missed opportunities. In risk-heterogeneous landscapes animals prefer safer locations over riskier, constituting a landscape of fear. Risk-uniform landscapes do not offer this choice, all locations are equally risky. Here we investigate the effects of predation risk in patches, travelling risk between patches, and missed social opportunities on foraging decisions in risk-uniform and risk-heterogeous landscapes. We investigated patch leaving decisions of 20 common voles (M. arvalis) in three experimental landscapes: safe risk-uniform, risky risk-uniform and risk-heterogeneous. We varied both the predation risk level and the predation risk distribution between two patches experimentally and in steps, assuming that our manipulation consequently yield different distributions and levels of risk while foraging, risk while travelling, and costs of missed, social opportunities (MSOCs). We measured mean GUDs (giving-up density of food left in the patch) for both patches as a measure of foraging gain, and delta GUD, the differences among patches, as a measure of the spatial distribution of foraging effort over a period of six hours. Distribution of foraging effort was most even in the safe risk-uniform landscapes and least even in the risk-heterogeneous landscape, with risky risk-uniform landscapes in between. Foraging gain was higher in the safe than in the two riskier landscapes (both uniform and heterogeneous). Results supported predictions for the effects of risk in foraging patches and while travelling between patches, however predictions for the effects of missed social opportunities were not met in this short term experiment. Thus, both travelling and foraging risk contribute to distinct patterns observable high risk, risk-uniform landscapes. PMID:24809666

  1. When Michaelis and Menten met Holling: towards a mechanistic theory of plant nutrient foraging behaviour

    PubMed Central

    McNickle, Gordon G.; Brown, Joel S.

    2014-01-01

    Plants are adept at assessing and responding to nutrients in soil, and generally proliferate roots into nutrient-rich patches. An analogy between this growth response and animal foraging movement is often drawn, but because of differences between plants and animals it has not always been clear how to directly apply existing foraging theory to plants. Here we suggest one way to unite pre-existing ideas in plant nutrient uptake with foraging theory. First, we show that the Michaelis–Menten equation used by botanists and the Holling disc equation used by zoologists are actually just rearrangements of the same functional response. This mathematical unity permits the translation of existing knowledge about the nutrient uptake physiology of plants into the language of foraging behaviour, and as a result gives botanists direct access to foraging theory. Second, we developed a model of root foraging precision based on the Holling disc equation and the marginal value theorem, and parameterize it from the literature. The model predicts (i) generally plants should invest in higher quality patches compared to lower quality patches, and as patch background–contrast increases; (ii) low encounter rates between roots and nutrients result in high root foraging precision; and (iii) low handling times for nutrients should result in high root foraging precision. The available data qualitatively support these predictions. Third, to parameterize the model above we undertook a review of the literature. From that review we obtained parameter estimates for nitrate and/or ammonium uptake for 45 plant species from 38 studies. We observe that the parameters ranged over six orders of magnitude, there was no trade-off in foraging ability for nitrate versus ammonium: plants that were efficient foragers for one form of nitrogen were efficient foragers for the other, and there was also no phylogenetic signal in the parameter estimates. PMID:25341427

  2. Systematic review of the influence of foraging habitat on red-cockaded woodpecker reproductive success.

    SciTech Connect

    Garabedian, James E.

    2014-04-01

    Relationships between foraging habitat and reproductive success provide compelling evidence of the contribution of specific vegetative features to foraging habitat quality, a potentially limiting factor for many animal populations. For example, foraging habitat quality likely will gain importance in the recovery of the threatened red-cockaded woodpecker Picoides borealis (RCW) in the USA as immediate nesting constraints are mitigated. Several researchers have characterized resource selection by foraging RCWs, but emerging research linking reproductive success (e.g. clutch size, nestling and fledgling production, and group size) and foraging habitat features has yet to be synthesized. Therefore, we reviewed peer-refereed scientific literature and technical resources (e.g. books, symposia proceedings, and technical reports) that examined RCW foraging ecology, foraging habitat, or demography to evaluate evidence for effects of the key foraging habitat features described in the species’ recovery plan on group reproductive success. Fitness-based habitat models suggest foraging habitat with low to intermediate pine Pinus spp. densities, presence of large and old pines, minimal midstory development, and herbaceous groundcover support more productive RCW groups. However, the relationships between some foraging habitat features and RCW reproductive success are not well supported by empirical data. In addition, few regression models account for > 30% of variation in reproductive success, and unstandardized multiple and simple linear regression coefficient estimates typically range from -0.100 to 0.100, suggesting ancillary variables and perhaps indirect mechanisms influence reproductive success. These findings suggest additional research is needed to address uncertainty in relationships between foraging habitat features and RCW reproductive success and in the mechanisms underlying those relationships.

  3. Bumble bee nest abundance, foraging distance, and host-plant reproduction: implications for management and conservation.

    PubMed

    Geib, Jennifer C; Strange, James P; Galenj, Candace

    2015-04-01

    Recent reports of global declines in pollinator species imply an urgent need to assess the abundance of native pollinators and density-dependent benefits for linked plants. In this study, we investigated (1) pollinator nest distributions and estimated colony abundances, (2) the relationship between abundances of foraging workers and the number of nests they represent, (3) pollinator foraging ranges, and (4) the relationship between pollinator abundance and plant reproduction. We examined these questions in an alpine ecosystem in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, focusing on four alpine bumble bee species (Bombus balteatus, B. flavifrons, B. bifarius, and B. sylvicola), and two host plants that differ in their degrees of pollinator specialization (Trifolium dasyphyllum and T. parryi). Using microsatellites, we found that estimated colony abundances among Bombus species ranged from ~18 to 78 colonies/0.01 km2. The long-tongued species B. balteatus was most common, especially high above treeline, but the subalpine species B. bifarius was unexpectedly abundant for this elevation range. Nests detected among sampled foragers of each species were correlated with the number of foragers caught. Foraging ranges were smaller than expected for all Bombus species, ranging from 25 to 110 m. Fruit set for the specialized plant, Trifolium parryi, was positively related to the abundance of its Bombus pollinator. In contrast, fruit set for the generalized plant, T. dasyphyllum, was related to abundance of all Bombus species. Because forager abundance was related to nest abundance of each Bombus species and was an equally effective predictor of plant fecundity, forager inventories are probably suitable for assessing the health of outcrossing plant populations. However, nest abundance, rather than forager abundance, better reflects demographic and genetic health in populations of eusocial pollinators such as bumble bees. Development of models incorporating the parameters we have measured

  4. When Michaelis and Menten met Holling: towards a mechanistic theory of plant nutrient foraging behaviour.

    PubMed

    McNickle, Gordon G; Brown, Joel S

    2014-10-22

    Plants are adept at assessing and responding to nutrients in soil, and generally proliferate roots into nutrient-rich patches. An analogy between this growth response and animal foraging movement is often drawn, but because of differences between plants and animals it has not always been clear how to directly apply existing foraging theory to plants. Here we suggest one way to unite pre-existing ideas in plant nutrient uptake with foraging theory. First, we show that the Michaelis-Menten equation used by botanists and the Holling disc equation used by zoologists are actually just rearrangements of the same functional response. This mathematical unity permits the translation of existing knowledge about the nutrient uptake physiology of plants into the language of foraging behaviour, and as a result gives botanists direct access to foraging theory. Second, we developed a model of root foraging precision based on the Holling disc equation and the marginal value theorem, and parameterize it from the literature. The model predicts (i) generally plants should invest in higher quality patches compared to lower quality patches, and as patch background-contrast increases; (ii) low encounter rates between roots and nutrients result in high root foraging precision; and (iii) low handling times for nutrients should result in high root foraging precision. The available data qualitatively support these predictions. Third, to parameterize the model above we undertook a review of the literature. From that review we obtained parameter estimates for nitrate and/or ammonium uptake for 45 plant species from 38 studies. We observe that the parameters ranged over six orders of magnitude, there was no trade-off in foraging ability for nitrate versus ammonium: plants that were efficient foragers for one form of nitrogen were efficient foragers for the other, and there was also no phylogenetic signal in the parameter estimates.

  5. Effects of forage:concentrate ratio and forage type on apparent digestibility, ruminal fermentation, and microbial growth in goats.

    PubMed

    Cantalapiedra-Hijar, G; Yáñez-Ruiz, D R; Martín-García, A I; Molina-Alcaide, E

    2009-02-01

    The effects of forage type and forage:concentrate ratio (F:C) on apparent nutrient digestibility, ruminal fermentation, and microbial growth were investigated in goats. A comparison between liquid (LAB) and solid (SAB)-associated bacteria to estimate microbial N flow (MNF) from urinary purine derivative excretion was also examined. Treatments were a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of forage type (grass hay vs. alfalfa hay) and high vs. low F:C (70:30 and 30:70, respectively). Four ruminally cannulated goats were fed, at maintenance intake, 4 experimental diets according to a 4 x 4 Latin square design. High-concentrate diets resulted in greater (P < 0.001) nutrient digestibility except for ADF. However, CP digestibility increased (P < 0.001) only for the high-concentrate diets including grass hay. Likewise, N retention, ruminal NH(3)-N concentration, and urinary excretion of purine derivatives increased (P < 0.05) with increasing concentrate in animals fed diets based on grass hay (0.23 vs. 0.13 g of retained N/g of digested N, 30.1 vs. 12.9 mg of NH(3)-N/100 mL, and 11.5 vs. 8.40 mmol/d, respectively), but not (P > 0.05) when diets included alfalfa hay. Total protozoa numbers and holotricha proportion were greater and less (P < 0.001), respectively, in high- than in low-concentrate diets. The F:C affected (P < 0.001) ruminal pH but not total VFA concentration (P = 0.12). Ammonia-N concentration was similar (P = 0.13) over time, whereas pH, VFA concentration, and protozoa numbers differed (P < 0.001) among diets. Estimated MNF was strongly influenced by using either the purine bases:N ratio obtained in our experimental conditions or values reported in the literature for small ruminants. There was a F:C effect (P = 0.006) on MNF estimated from LAB but not from SAB. The effect of F:C shifting from 70:30 to 30:70 in goat diets depends on the type of forage used. The MNF measured in goats fed different diets was influenced by the bacterial pellet (LAB or SAB). In addition

  6. Central place foraging by beavers (Castor canadensis): a test of foraging predictions and the impact of selective feeding on the growth form of cottonwoods (Populus fremontii).

    PubMed

    McGinley, Mark A; Whitham, Thomas G

    1985-07-01

    Several predictions of central place foraging theory were tested. As predicted, beavers foraged more selectively at increasing distance from the central place. With increasing distance from the river's edge, beavers cut fewer branches and deleted small branches from their diet. Large branches were favored at all distances, which differs from patterns observed in previous studies of beaver foraging. This difference, however, is expected and supports Schoener's (1979) predictions which are based on differences between provisioning costs and item size.The selective harvesting of branches predicted by foraging theory affects plant growth form and may influence plant reproductive patterns. High rates of branch removal caused cottonwoods to develop a shrubby architecture. The importance of selective branch choice by beavers on patterns of cottonwood reproduction (i.e., delayed sexual maturity and induced cloning) is discussed.

  7. Assessing Lévy walks as models of animal foraging

    PubMed Central

    James, Alex; Plank, Michael J.; Edwards, Andrew M.

    2011-01-01

    The hypothesis that the optimal search strategy is a Lévy walk (LW) or Lévy flight, originally suggested in 1995, has generated an explosion of interest and controversy. Long-standing empirical evidence supporting the LW hypothesis has been overturned, while new models and data are constantly being published. Statistical methods have been criticized and new methods put forward. In parallel with the empirical studies, theoretical search models have been developed. Some theories have been disproved while others remain. Here, we gather together the current state of the art on the role of LWs in optimal foraging theory. We examine the body of theory underpinning the subject. Then we present new results showing that deviations from the idealized one-dimensional search model greatly reduce or remove the advantage of LWs. The search strategy of an LW with exponent μ = 2 is therefore not as robust as is widely thought. We also review the available techniques, and their potential pitfalls, for analysing field data. It is becoming increasingly recognized that there is a wide range of mechanisms that can lead to the apparent observation of power-law patterns. The consequence of this is that the detection of such patterns in field data implies neither that the foragers in question are performing an LW, nor that they have evolved to do so. We conclude that LWs are neither a universal optimal search strategy, nor are they as widespread in nature as was once thought. PMID:21632609

  8. Theory of Choice in Bandit, Information Sampling and Foraging Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Averbeck, Bruno B.

    2015-01-01

    Decision making has been studied with a wide array of tasks. Here we examine the theoretical structure of bandit, information sampling and foraging tasks. These tasks move beyond tasks where the choice in the current trial does not affect future expected rewards. We have modeled these tasks using Markov decision processes (MDPs). MDPs provide a general framework for modeling tasks in which decisions affect the information on which future choices will be made. Under the assumption that agents are maximizing expected rewards, MDPs provide normative solutions. We find that all three classes of tasks pose choices among actions which trade-off immediate and future expected rewards. The tasks drive these trade-offs in unique ways, however. For bandit and information sampling tasks, increasing uncertainty or the time horizon shifts value to actions that pay-off in the future. Correspondingly, decreasing uncertainty increases the relative value of actions that pay-off immediately. For foraging tasks the time-horizon plays the dominant role, as choices do not affect future uncertainty in these tasks. PMID:25815510

  9. Theory of choice in bandit, information sampling and foraging tasks.

    PubMed

    Averbeck, Bruno B

    2015-03-01

    Decision making has been studied with a wide array of tasks. Here we examine the theoretical structure of bandit, information sampling and foraging tasks. These tasks move beyond tasks where the choice in the current trial does not affect future expected rewards. We have modeled these tasks using Markov decision processes (MDPs). MDPs provide a general framework for modeling tasks in which decisions affect the information on which future choices will be made. Under the assumption that agents are maximizing expected rewards, MDPs provide normative solutions. We find that all three classes of tasks pose choices among actions which trade-off immediate and future expected rewards. The tasks drive these trade-offs in unique ways, however. For bandit and information sampling tasks, increasing uncertainty or the time horizon shifts value to actions that pay-off in the future. Correspondingly, decreasing uncertainty increases the relative value of actions that pay-off immediately. For foraging tasks the time-horizon plays the dominant role, as choices do not affect future uncertainty in these tasks.

  10. Ruminal release of minerals from six forage species.

    PubMed

    Emanuele, S M; Staples, C R

    1990-07-01

    An in vitro technique and an in situ technique were used to measure release of Ca, Mg, P and Zn over time from hand-clipped alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Maximal release of P and Zn was greater using the in situ technique. 'Florida 77' alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), 'Florigraze' rhizoma peanut (Arachis glabrata Benth.), 'Mott' dwarf elephantgrass (Pennisetum purpureum Schum.), 'Tifton 78' bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L) Pers.), 'Pensacola' bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flugge) and 'Floralta' limpograss (Hemarthria altissima (Poir.) Stapf and Hubbard) were used to examine the ruminal release of Ca, Mg, P, K, Cu and Zn by means of the in situ technique. Minerals were ranked from highest to lowest for extent of immediate and maximal release in the rumen. Averaged across forage species, ranking was K at 100% and 100%, Mg at 82% and 95%, Cu at 71% and 84%, P at 66% and 80%, Zn at 26% and 69% and Ca at 29% and 70%. A large proportion of Ca was associated with the plant cell wall, based on the duration of incubation time needed to maximize its release and the large fractinal amount of Ca slowly released. A large portion of the Zn was released slowly as well (mean, 43.8%), but release of Zn was maximal in less than 24 h. Most of the Mg, K, P and Cu probably reside in the cell contents. Forages with high NDF concentrations can have high release coefficients for their minerals.

  11. Drift algae reduce foraging efficiency of juvenile flatfish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nordström, Marie; Booth, Dale M.

    2007-11-01

    Although flatfish species utilise a wide range of habitats as adults, several species are confined to a very limited habitat as juveniles. Recruitment levels are dependent on the quality and quantity of these nursery areas and changes therein. In the Baltic Sea, these shallow environments are often subject to influxes of drifting macroalgae, which add structure to otherwise bare sandy substrate. Structure, such as vegetation, alters predator-prey interactions of a wide range of fauna and in an array of marine, freshwater, and terrestrial systems. The aim of our study was to assess the inhibition potential of drifting macroalgae on the foraging efficiency of juvenile flatfish (young of the year Scophthalmus maximus L., young of the year- and group 1 + Platichthys flesus L.) through a series of microcosm experiments. Our results show that foraging success is restricted by drift algae as predation efficiency of all predator species and size classes was negatively affected by the presence of macroalgae. Overall, there was a reduction in predation success by 80 ± 12% due to structural effects and/or the induced changes in water chemistry associated with the algae. Flatfish depend on shallow sandy areas as feeding and nursery grounds during their juvenile stage and frequently occurring macroalgal assemblages drastically change the features of the otherwise bare substrate, setting the stage for small-scale, localised processes potentially affecting population dynamics.

  12. Individual specialization in a shorebird population with narrow foraging niche

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catry, Teresa; Alves, José A.; Gill, Jennifer A.; Gunnarsson, Tómas G.; Granadeiro, José P.

    2014-04-01

    Individual specialization in resource use is a widespread driver for intra-population trait variation, playing a crucial evolutionary role in free-living animals. We investigated the individual foraging specialization of Black-tailed Godwits (Limosa limosa islandica) during the wintering period. Godwits displayed distinct degrees of individual specialization in diet and microhabitat use, indicating the presence of both generalist and specialist birds. Females were overall more specialist than males, primarily consuming polychaetes. Specialist males consumed mainly bivalves, but some individuals also specialized on gastropods or polychaetes. Sexual dimorphism in bill length is probably important in determining the differences in specialization, as longer-billed individuals have access to deep-buried polychaetes inaccessible to most males. Different levels of specialization within the same sex, unrelated to bill length, were also found, suggesting that mechanisms other traits are involved in explaining individual specialization. Godwits specialized on bivalves achieved higher intake rates than non-specialist birds, supporting the idea that individual foraging choices or skills result in different short-term payoffs within the same population. Understanding whether short-term payoffs are good indicators of long-term fitness and how selection operates to favour the prevalence of specialist or generalist godwits is a major future challenge.

  13. Memory Effects on Movement Behavior in Animal Foraging.

    PubMed

    Bracis, Chloe; Gurarie, Eliezer; Van Moorter, Bram; Goodwin, R Andrew

    2015-01-01

    An individual's choices are shaped by its experience, a fundamental property of behavior important to understanding complex processes. Learning and memory are observed across many taxa and can drive behaviors, including foraging behavior. To explore the conditions under which memory provides an advantage, we present a continuous-space, continuous-time model of animal movement that incorporates learning and memory. Using simulation models, we evaluate the benefit memory provides across several types of landscapes with variable-quality resources and compare the memory model within a nested hierarchy of simpler models (behavioral switching and random walk). We find that memory almost always leads to improved foraging success, but that this effect is most marked in landscapes containing sparse, contiguous patches of high-value resources that regenerate relatively fast and are located in an otherwise devoid landscape. In these cases, there is a large payoff for finding a resource patch, due to size, value, or locational difficulty. While memory-informed search is difficult to differentiate from other factors using solely movement data, our results suggest that disproportionate spatial use of higher value areas, higher consumption rates, and consumption variability all point to memory influencing the movement direction of animals in certain ecosystems.

  14. Hummingbird foraging and the relation between bioenergetics and behaviour.

    PubMed

    Suarez, Raul K; Gass, C Lee

    2002-10-01

    Because of their small size and expensive mode of flight, hummingbirds display some of the highest known mass-specific rates of aerobic metabolism among vertebrates. High enzymatic flux capacities through pathways of carbohydrate and long-chain fatty acid oxidation indicate that either substrate can fuel flight. Although hummingbirds are known to rely on fat to fuel migratory flight, short foraging bouts are fueled by the oxidation of carbohydrate, not fat. This allows birds refueling at meadows during migration to deposit fat at higher rates and avoids the energetic inefficiency that results from synthesizing fat from dietary sugar, and then breaking down the fat to fuel foraging flight. On cold mornings in subalpine meadows, refueling hummingbirds achieve net energy gain despite the high energetic costs of thermoregulation and flight. In doing so, they sustain the highest known time-averaged metabolic rates among vertebrates. However, low sucrose concentrations, provided in volumes large enough to allow the maintenance of energy balance at low temperature, result in energy deficit and mass loss. The problem of disposing of dietary water at low ambient temperature when intake rates are elevated suggests that the kidneys may be involved in establishing the upper limit to intake rates and, therefore, maximum sustained metabolic rates. It is suggested that hummingbird behaviour and metabolism have coevolved to maximize net energy gain. Further, the energetics of hummingbird thermoregulation and flight may have influenced the evolution of sucrose content in floral nectar.

  15. Insect-foraging in captive owl monkeys (Aotus nancymaae).

    PubMed

    Wolovich, Christy K; Rivera, Jeanette; Evans, Sian

    2010-08-01

    Whereas the diets of diurnal primate species vary greatly, almost all nocturnal primate species consume insects. Insect-foraging has been described in nocturnal prosimians but has not been investigated in owl monkeys (Aotus spp.). We studied 35 captive owl monkeys (Aotus nancymaae) in order to describe their foraging behavior and to determine if there were any age or sex differences in their ability to capture insect prey. Because owl monkeys cooperate in parental care and in food-sharing, we expected social interactions involving insect prey. We found that owl monkeys most often snatched flying insects from the air and immobilized crawling insects against a substrate using their hands. Immatures and adult female owl monkeys attempted to capture prey significantly more often than did adult males; however, there was no difference in the proportion of attempts that resulted in capture. Social interactions involving prey appeared similar to those with provisioned food, but possessors of prey resisted begging attempts more so than did possessors of other food. Owl monkeys attempted to capture prey often (mean = 9.5 +/- 5.8 attempts/h), and we speculate that the protein and lipid content of captured prey is important for meeting the metabolic demands for growth and reproduction.

  16. Error in the honeybee waggle dance improves foraging flexibility.

    PubMed

    Okada, Ryuichi; Ikeno, Hidetoshi; Kimura, Toshifumi; Ohashi, Mizue; Aonuma, Hitoshi; Ito, Etsuro

    2014-02-26

    The honeybee waggle dance communicates the location of profitable food sources, usually with a certain degree of error in the directional information ranging from 10-15° at the lower margin. We simulated one-day colonial foraging to address the biological significance of information error in the waggle dance. When the error was 30° or larger, the waggle dance was not beneficial. If the error was 15°, the waggle dance was beneficial when the food sources were scarce. When the error was 10° or smaller, the waggle dance was beneficial under all the conditions tested. Our simulation also showed that precise information (0-5° error) yielded great success in finding feeders, but also caused failures at finding new feeders, i.e., a high-risk high-return strategy. The observation that actual bees perform the waggle dance with an error of 10-15° might reflect, at least in part, the maintenance of a successful yet risky foraging trade-off.

  17. Role of depletion on the dynamics of a diffusing forager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bénichou, O.; Chupeau, M.; Redner, S.

    2016-09-01

    We study the dynamics of a starving random walk in general spatial dimension d. This model represents an idealized description for the fate of an unaware forager whose motion is not affected by the presence or absence of resources. The forager depletes its environment by consuming resources and dies if it wanders too long without finding food. In the exactly solvable case of one dimension, we explicitly derive the average lifetime of the walk and the distribution for the number of distinct sites visited by the walk at the instant of starvation. We also give a heuristic derivation for the averages of these two quantities. We tackle the complex but ecologically relevant case of two dimensions by an approximation in which the depleted zone is assumed to always be circular and which grows incrementally each time the walk reaches the edge of this zone. Within this framework, we derive a lower bound for the scaling of the average lifetime and number of distinct sites visited at starvation. We also determine the asymptotic distribution of the number of distinct sites visited at starvation. Finally, we solve the case of high spatial dimensions within a mean-field approach.

  18. Foraging theory upscaled: the behavioural ecology of herbivore movement

    PubMed Central

    Owen-Smith, N.; Fryxell, J. M.; Merrill, E. H.

    2010-01-01

    We outline how principles of optimal foraging developed for diet and food patch selection might be applied to movement behaviour expressed over larger spatial and temporal scales. Our focus is on large mammalian herbivores, capable of carrying global positioning system (GPS) collars operating through the seasonal cycle and dependent on vegetation resources that are fixed in space but seasonally variable in availability and nutritional value. The concept of intermittent movement leads to the recognition of distinct movement modes over a hierarchy of spatio-temporal scales. Over larger scales, periods with relatively low displacement may indicate settlement within foraging areas, habitat units or seasonal ranges. Directed movements connect these patches or places used for other activities. Selection is expressed by switches in movement mode and the intensity of utilization by the settlement period relative to the area covered. The type of benefit obtained during settlement periods may be inferred from movement patterns, local environmental features, or the diel activity schedule. Rates of movement indicate changing costs in time and energy over the seasonal cycle, between years and among regions. GPS telemetry potentially enables large-scale movement responses to changing environmental conditions to be linked to population performance. PMID:20566503

  19. Testing optimal foraging theory in a penguin-krill system.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Yuuki Y; Ito, Motohiro; Takahashi, Akinori

    2014-03-22

    Food is heterogeneously distributed in nature, and understanding how animals search for and exploit food patches is a fundamental challenge in ecology. The classic marginal value theorem (MVT) formulates optimal patch residence time in response to patch quality. The MVT was generally proved in controlled animal experiments; however, owing to the technical difficulties in recording foraging behaviour in the wild, it has been inadequately examined in natural predator-prey systems, especially those in the three-dimensional marine environment. Using animal-borne accelerometers and video cameras, we collected a rare dataset in which the behaviour of a marine predator (penguin) was recorded simultaneously with the capture timings of mobile, patchily distributed prey (krill). We provide qualitative support for the MVT by showing that (i) krill capture rate diminished with time in each dive, as assumed in the MVT, and (ii) dive duration (or patch residence time, controlled for dive depth) increased with short-term, dive-scale krill capture rate, but decreased with long-term, bout-scale krill capture rate, as predicted from the MVT. Our results demonstrate that a single environmental factor (i.e. patch quality) can have opposite effects on animal behaviour depending on the time scale, emphasizing the importance of multi-scale approaches in understanding complex foraging strategies.

  20. Memory Effects on Movement Behavior in Animal Foraging

    PubMed Central

    Bracis, Chloe; Gurarie, Eliezer; Van Moorter, Bram; Goodwin, R. Andrew

    2015-01-01

    An individual’s choices are shaped by its experience, a fundamental property of behavior important to understanding complex processes. Learning and memory are observed across many taxa and can drive behaviors, including foraging behavior. To explore the conditions under which memory provides an advantage, we present a continuous-space, continuous-time model of animal movement that incorporates learning and memory. Using simulation models, we evaluate the benefit memory provides across several types of landscapes with variable-quality resources and compare the memory model within a nested hierarchy of simpler models (behavioral switching and random walk). We find that memory almost always leads to improved foraging success, but that this effect is most marked in landscapes containing sparse, contiguous patches of high-value resources that regenerate relatively fast and are located in an otherwise devoid landscape. In these cases, there is a large payoff for finding a resource patch, due to size, value, or locational difficulty. While memory-informed search is difficult to differentiate from other factors using solely movement data, our results suggest that disproportionate spatial use of higher value areas, higher consumption rates, and consumption variability all point to memory influencing the movement direction of animals in certain ecosystems. PMID:26288228

  1. Geographic profiling applied to testing models of bumble-bee foraging

    PubMed Central

    Raine, Nigel E.; Rossmo, D. Kim; Le Comber, Steven C.

    2008-01-01

    Geographic profiling (GP) was originally developed as a statistical tool to help police forces prioritize lists of suspects in investigations of serial crimes. GP uses the location of related crime sites to make inferences about where the offender is most likely to live, and has been extremely successful in criminology. Here, we show how GP is applicable to experimental studies of animal foraging, using the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris. GP techniques enable us to simplify complex patterns of spatial data down to a small number of parameters (2–3) for rigorous hypothesis testing. Combining computer model simulations and experimental observation of foraging bumble-bees, we demonstrate that GP can be used to discriminate between foraging patterns resulting from (i) different hypothetical foraging algorithms and (ii) different food item (flower) densities. We also demonstrate that combining experimental and simulated data can be used to elucidate animal foraging strategies: specifically that the foraging patterns of real bumble-bees can be reliably discriminated from three out of nine hypothetical foraging algorithms. We suggest that experimental systems, like foraging bees, could be used to test and refine GP model predictions, and that GP offers a useful technique to analyse spatial animal behaviour data in both the laboratory and field. PMID:18664426

  2. Effects of nitrogen fertilization on the nutritive value of oat forages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nitrogen fertilization is a routine part of forage management strategies for grasses, but the effects on forage nutritive value have been inconsistent. Our objectives were to evaluate the effects of N fertilization on the nutritive value of fall-grown oat fertilized at planting with 20, 40, 60, 80, ...

  3. New modes of use and opportunities for research in forage plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forages play an important role in the production of meat and dairy throughout the world. Forages are not only an integral part of human protein production, but they can also improve row crop production management systems, play a role in reducing the dependence on fossil fuels and mitigate environme...

  4. Among-and-Within-Family Selection in Eight Forage Grass Populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forage yields increased little during the 20th century, despite intensive breeding efforts in many species. Half-sib family (HSF) and/or among-and-within-family (AWF) selection methods may overcome this problem. The objective of this study was to compare HSF and AWF selection using forage yield of...

  5. SEASONAL DIFFERENCES IN CLEAR-SKY NIGHTTIME FORAGE TEMPERATURE IN PROXIMITY TO DECIDUOUS TREES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Considerable research has been done on daytime forage shading by silvopasture trees since solar radiation is required for photosynthesis. However, trees also impact nighttime temperature on clear nights when trees also effectively shade forages from cold skies. Appalachia has a temperate climate a...

  6. Anaerobic co-digestion of forage radish and dairy manure in complete mix digesters

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Farmers are increasingly using forage radish as a winter cover crop to achieve multiple soil and environmental benefits. In this study, pilot-scale mixed digesters were used to quantify methane (CH4) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) production when using forage radish, a sulfur-rich cover crop, as a co-d...

  7. FEEDING BROWN MIDRIB FORAGE SORGHUM SILAGE AND CORN GLUTEN FEED TO LACTATING DAIRY COWS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Brown midrib (BMR) forage sorghum contains less lignin , resulting in increased NDF digestibility compared to conventional sorghum . An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of BMR forage sorghum silage in diets containing wet corn gluten feed (WCGF). The objective was to determine the e...

  8. Implications of Perennial Biomass Energy Cropping Systems for Pasture and Forage Lands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The lignocellulose in forage crops represents large source of biomass feedstock for conversion into energy-related end products. With new technologies and processes for biomass production and conversion approaching commercial reality forages could once again fuel agriculture. Some of the most extens...

  9. Improvement of perennial forage species as feedstock for bio-energy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Both native and non-native forage grasses other than switchgrass are less commonly considered as potential lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks for bioenergy in the United States. The forage grasses consist of temperate cool-season (most commonly C3) grasses as well as the tropical or sub-tropical an...

  10. Deep-sea foraging behavior: its bathymetric potential in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Kitchell, J A; Kitchell, J F; Clark, D L; Dangeard, L

    1978-06-16

    Spiral and meander foraging traces in the deep sea are not distributed in proportion to assumed food availability. Data collected by means of deep-sea photography failed to reveal a bathymetric gradient in behavioral complexity or sensitivity. The foraging paradigm developed by numerous trace fossil studies does not adequately predict the modern environment.

  11. Technology background and best practices: yield mapping in hay and forage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Over the last decade, researchers have worked to develop yield and moisture sensors that allow on-the-go collection of hay and forage yields in a spatial manner. Work has been conducted on windrowers, forage harvesters, large square and round balers. However, commercial implementation has been limit...

  12. Technology background and best practices: yield mapping in hay and forage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Over the last decade, researchers and equipment companies have worked to develop yield and moisture sensors that allow on-the-go collection of hay and forage yields in a spatial manner. Work has been conducted on windrowers, forage harvesters, large square balers, and round balers. However, commerci...

  13. Forage radish winter cover crop suppresses winter annual weeds in fall and before corn planting

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forage radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. longipinnatus) is a new winter cover crop in the Mid-Atlantic region. The objective of this project was to characterize the repeatability, amount, and duration of weed suppression during and after a fall-planted forage radish cover crop and to quantify the sub...

  14. Southern Elephant Seals Replenish Their Lipid Reserves at Different Rates According to Foraging Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Richard, Gaëtan; Cox, Samantha L.; Picard, Baptiste; Vacquié-Garcia, Jade; Guinet, Christophe

    2016-01-01

    Assessing energy gain and expenditure in free ranging marine predators is difficult. However, such measurements are critical if we are to understand how variation in foraging efficiency, and in turn individual body condition, is impacted by environmentally driven changes in prey abundance and/or accessibility. To investigate the influence of oceanographic habitat type on foraging efficiency, ten post-breeding female southern elephant seals Mirounga leonina (SES) were equipped and tracked with bio-loggers to give continuous information of prey catch attempts, body density and body activity. Variations in these indices of foraging efficiency were then compared between three different oceanographic habitats, delineated by the main frontal structures of the Southern Ocean. Results show that changes in body density are related not only to the number of previous prey catch attempts and to the body activity (at a 6 day lag), but also foraging habitat type. For example, despite a lower daily prey catch attempt rate, SESs foraging north of the sub-Antarctic front improve their body density at a higher rate than individuals foraging south of the sub-Antarctic and polar fronts, suggesting that they may forage on easier to catch and/or more energetically rich prey in this area. Our study highlights a need to understand the influence of habitat type on top predator foraging behaviour and efficiency when attempting a better comprehension of marine ecosystems. PMID:27902786

  15. Nutritive value of fall-grown cereal-grain forages over time.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Changes in nutritive value of fall-grown cereal-grain forages can affect cattle performance. The objective of this study was to evaluate the nutritive value of various fall-grown cereal-grain forages over time. One variety each of hard red (HR) and soft red (SR) winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), ...

  16. Diffuse Reflectance Fourier Transform Mid-Infrared Spectral Properties of Forages with Varied Fatty Acid Content

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ruminant diet can affect the fatty acid (FA) content of meat and dairy products, which indicates that managing forage consumption is important in determining the quality of the animal products. Mid-infrared spectroscopy is sensitive to changes in forage FA and has been used successfully to quantify ...

  17. The foraging benefits of being fat in a highly migratory marine mammal

    PubMed Central

    Adachi, Taiki; Maresh, Jennifer L.; Robinson, Patrick W.; Peterson, Sarah H.; Costa, Daniel P.; Naito, Yasuhiko; Watanabe, Yuuki Y.; Takahashi, Akinori

    2014-01-01

    Foraging theory predicts that breath-hold divers adjust the time spent foraging at depth relative to the energetic cost of swimming, which varies with buoyancy (body density). However, the buoyancy of diving animals varies as a function of their body condition, and the effects of these changes on swimming costs and foraging behaviour have been poorly examined. A novel animal-borne accelerometer was developed that recorded the number of flipper strokes, which allowed us to monitor the number of strokes per metre swam (hereafter, referred to as strokes-per-metre) by female northern elephant seals over their months-long, oceanic foraging migrations. As negatively buoyant seals increased their fat stores and buoyancy, the strokes-per-metre increased slightly in the buoyancy-aided direction (descending), but decreased significantly in the buoyancy-hindered direction (ascending), with associated changes in swim speed and gliding duration. Overall, the round-trip strokes-per-metre decreased and reached a minimum value when seals achieved neutral buoyancy. Consistent with foraging theory, seals stayed longer at foraging depths when their round-trip strokes-per-metre was less. Therefore, neutrally buoyant divers gained an energetic advantage via reduced swimming costs, which resulted in an increase in time spent foraging at depth, suggesting a foraging benefit of being fat. PMID:25377461

  18. Partial decomposition of the genetic correlation between forage yield and fiber using semi-hybrids

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Voluntary intake potential of a forage crop is generally considered to be the most important feed characteristic regulating animal performance. Efforts to develop forage crops with reduced bulk volume, measured by neutral detergent fiber (NDF) concentration, are associated with reduced plant fitness...

  19. Foraging decisions in wild versus domestic Mus musculus: What does life in the lab select for?

    PubMed

    Troxell-Smith, Sandra M; Tutka, Michal J; Albergo, Jessica M; Balu, Deebika; Brown, Joel S; Leonard, John P

    2016-01-01

    What does domestication select for in terms of foraging and anti-predator behaviors? We applied principles of patch use and foraging theory to test foraging strategies and fear responses of three strains of Mus musculus: wild-caught, control laboratory, and genetically modified strains. Foraging choices were quantified using giving-up densities (GUDs) under three foraging scenarios: (1) patches varying in microhabitat (covered versus open), and initial resource density (low versus high); (2) daily variation in auditory cues (aerial predators and control calls); (3) patches with varying seed aggregations. Overall, both domestic strains harvested significantly more food than wild mice. Each strain revealed a significant preference for foraging under cover compared to the open, and predator calls had no detectable effects on foraging. Both domestic strains biased their harvest toward high quality patches; wild mice did not. In terms of exploiting favorable and avoiding unfavorable distributions of seeds within patches, the lab strain performed best, the wild strain worst, and the mutant strain in between. Our study provides support for hypothesis that domestic animals have more energy-efficient foraging strategies than their wild counterparts, but retain residual fear responses. Furthermore, patch-use studies can reveal the aptitudes and priorities of both domestic and wild animals.

  20. N fertilization for improved forage yields has little impact on nutritive value

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Applications of soil amendments or fertilizers containing nitrogen are a routine part of most grass forage management strategies, with the primary goal of improving forage yields. But an increase in yield is usually accompanied by a decrease in nutritive value. In order to better evaluate this trade...