The effect of resource aggregation at different scales: Optimal foraging behavior of Cotesia rubecula

B. Tenhumberg, M. A. Keller, A. J. Tyre, H. P. Possingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Resources can be aggregated both within and between patches. In this article, we examine how aggregation at these different scales influences the behavior and performance of foragers. We developed an optimal foraging model of the foraging behavior of the parasitoid wasp Cotesia rubecula parasitizing the larvae of the cabbage butterfly Pieris rapae. The optimal behavior was found using stochastic dynamic programming. The most interesting and novel result is that the effect of resource aggregation within and between patches depends on the degree of aggregation both within and between patches as well as on the local host density in the occupied patch, but lifetime reproductive success depends only on aggregation within patches. Our findings have profound implications for the way in which we measure heterogeneity at different scales and model the response of organisms to spatial heterogeneity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-518
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Volume158
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Cotesia rubecula
  • Optimal foraging behavior
  • Resource aggregation
  • Spatial scale
  • Stochastic dynamic programming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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