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Title: How Landscape Heterogeneity Frames Optimal Diffusivity in Searching Processes
Authors: Raposo, E. P., Bartumeus, Frederic, da Luz, M. G. E., Ribeiro-Neto, P. J., Souza, T. A., Viswanathan, G. M.
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Abstract: Understanding how animals search for food is crucial for animal ecology. Although much has been learned about the main aspects of the so-called foraging problem, some important questions still remain unanswered. In this work we address the issue of the relevance of heterogeneity in the resources distribution to efficient animal foraging behavior. Our results unveil the key mechanism coupling landscape heterogeneity dynamics with optimal search diffusivity. Indeed, although the effect of (global) resource density on animal foraging behavior is well documented, much less has been known about how spatiotemporal landscape heterogeneity affects the efficiency of encounter interactions by foraging organisms. In this sense, we propose a new empirically testable theoretical prediction on the dynamics (e.g. diffusion exponent) of foraging organisms in heterogeneous environments. We also show that the conditions in which Le´vy strategies are optimal are much broader than previously considered.
Description: 8 páginas, 4 figuras.
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ISSN: 1553-734X
Citation: PLoS Comput Biol 7(11) : e1002233 (2011)
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