Central-place foraging in a patchy environment

Richard F Green, Adeline Taylor Nunez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Early models of central-place foraging treated animals that search for prey in identical, homogenous patches. If patches vary in quality, then optimal foraging requires strategies based on time spent in a patch, and not simply on the type or number of prey found. In particular, a forager that takes no more than one prey from a patch should leave a patch after searching unsuccessfully for a certain fixed time. When patches are more variable, the forager should stay a shorter time in each patch, and the resulting rate of delivering prey to the central place will be lower. This implies that aggregation should be favored by prey faced with a single-prey-loading predator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 7 1986

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank John Krenz, Dave Schimpf and Allan Stewart-Oaten for reading and commenting on this paper. Most of the work was done during a visit to the Department of Zoology at Oxford, supported by the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.


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