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A test of the producer-scrounger foraging game in captive flocks of spice finches, Loncbura punctulata.

Giraldeau, Luc-Alain; Soos, Catherine; Beauchamp, Guy (1994). A test of the producer-scrounger foraging game in captive flocks of spice finches, Loncbura punctulata. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology , vol. 34 , nº 4. p. 251-256. DOI: 10.1007/BF00183475.

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Résumé

Group foraging allows the co-existence of a strategy (producer) that involves searching for food, and its alternative (scrounger) exploiting the food of the producer. The use of producer and scrounger strategies has been modelled as an alternative-option scramble which assumes strong negative frequency-dependence of the scrounger's pay-offs. We tested this assumption in a flock feeding situation by manipulating the proportion of scroungers in flocks of spice finches, Lonchura punctulata. In a first experiment we found that: (1) the food intake of scroungers, and to a lesser extent producers, was negatively affected by an increase in the proportion of scroungers; (2) the food intake of producers and scroungers was equal when the proportion of scroungers was small, suggesting that producers, who exploited 35.4% of their patches by scrounging were opportunistically adjusting their use of the strategies until the pay-offs equalized. In a second experiment we tested whether finches could vary their use of the two strategies in response to changes in foraging conditions brought about by an increase in the cost of producing. As predicted by the game, finches reduced their use of the producer strategy and increased their use of the scrounger strategy when the cost of producing increased. These results suggest that spice finches can alter their allocation to each foraging alternative by experience and that the producer-scrounger game is a realistic model for predicting group foraging decisions.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: estrildidae; flocking; foraging; frequency dependence; scrounging
Centre: Institut national de la recherche scientifique
Date de dépôt: 02 mai 2018 15:33
Dernière modification: 02 mai 2018 15:33
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/7033

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