Testing optimal foraging theory models on benthic divers

Foo, Dahlia, Semmens, Jayson M., Arnould, John, Dorville, Nicole, Hoskins, Andrew, Abernathy, Kyler, Marshall, Greg J. and Hindell, Mark A. 2016, Testing optimal foraging theory models on benthic divers, Animal behaviour, vol. 112, pp. 127-138, doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.11.028.

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Title Testing optimal foraging theory models on benthic divers
Author(s) Foo, Dahlia
Semmens, Jayson M.
Arnould, JohnORCID iD for Arnould, John orcid.org/0000-0003-1124-9330
Dorville, Nicole
Hoskins, Andrew
Abernathy, Kyler
Marshall, Greg J.
Hindell, Mark A.
Journal name Animal behaviour
Volume number 112
Start page 127
End page 138
Total pages 12
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2016-02
ISSN 1095-8282
Keyword(s) accelerometry
Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus
benthic foragers
marine predators
Summary Empirical testing of optimal foraging models on diving air-breathing animals is limited due to difficulties in quantifying the prey field through direct observations. Here we used accelerometers to detect rapid head movements during prey encounter events (PEE) of free-ranging benthic-divers, Australian fur seals, Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus. PEE signals from accelerometer data were validated by simultaneous video data. We then used PEEs as a measure of patch quality to test several optimal foraging model predictions. Seals had longer bottom durations in unfruitful dives (no PEE) than those with some foraging success (PEE. ≥. 1). However, when examined in greater detail, seals had longer bottom durations in dives with more PEEs, but shorter bottom durations in bouts (sequences of dives) with more PEEs. Our results suggest that seals were generally maximizing bottom durations in all foraging dives, characteristic of benthic divers. However, successful foraging dives might be more energetically costly (e.g. digestive costs), thus resulting in shorter bottom durations at the larger scale of bouts. Our study provides a case study of how the foraging behaviour of a central place forager foraging in a fairly homogeneous environment, with relatively high travel costs, may deviate from current foraging models under different situations. Future foraging models should aim to integrate other aspects (e.g. diet) of the foraging process for more accurate predictions.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.11.028
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology)
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30083250

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