N-dimensional animal energetic niches clarify behavioural options in a variable marine environment

Wilson, Rory P., McMahon, Clive R., Quintana, Flavio, Frere, Esteban, Scolaro, Alejandro, Hays, Graeme C. and Bradshaw, Corey J.A. 2011, N-dimensional animal energetic niches clarify behavioural options in a variable marine environment, Journal of experimental biology, vol. 214, pp. 646-656, doi: 10.1242/jeb.044859.

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Title N-dimensional animal energetic niches clarify behavioural options in a variable marine environment
Author(s) Wilson, Rory P.
McMahon, Clive R.
Quintana, Flavio
Frere, Esteban
Scolaro, Alejandro
Hays, Graeme C.ORCID iD for Hays, Graeme C. orcid.org/0000-0002-3314-8189
Bradshaw, Corey J.A.
Journal name Journal of experimental biology
Volume number 214
Start page 646
End page 656
Total pages 11
Publisher Company of Biologists
Place of publication Cambridge, England
Publication date 2011-02-15
ISSN 0022-0949
1477-9145
Keyword(s) survival
energy expenditure
optimal strategy
performance constraints
energetic niche
power envelope
behavioural plasticity
Magellanic penguin
Spheniscus magellanicus
Summary Animals respond to environmental variation by exhibiting a number of different behaviours and/or rates of activity, which result in corresponding variation in energy expenditure. Successful animals generally maximize efficiency or rate of energy gain through foraging. Quantification of all features that modulate energy expenditure can theoretically be modelled as an animal energetic niche or power envelope; with total power being represented by the vertical axis and n-dimensional horizontal axes representing extents of processes that affect energy expenditure. Such an energetic niche could be used to assess the energetic consequences of animals adopting particular behaviours under various environmental conditions. This value of this approach was tested by constructing a simple mechanistic energetics model based on data collected from recording devices deployed on 41 free-living Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus), foraging from four different colonies in Argentina and consequently catching four different types of prey. Energy expenditure was calculated as a function of total distance swum underwater (horizontal axis 1) and maximum depth reached (horizontal axis 2). The resultant power envelope was invariant, irrespective of colony location, but penguins from the different colonies tended to use different areas of the envelope. The different colony solutions appeared to represent particular behavioural options for exploiting the available prey and demonstrate how penguins respond to environmental circumstance (prey distribution), the energetic consequences that this has for them, and how this affects the balance of energy acquisition through foraging and expenditure strategy.
Language eng
DOI 10.1242/jeb.044859
Field of Research 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, Company of Biologists
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30058307

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