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Patch assessment in foraging flocks of European starlings: evidence for the use of public information.

Templeton, Jennifer J.; Giraldeau, Luc-Alain (1995). Patch assessment in foraging flocks of European starlings: evidence for the use of public information. Behavioral Ecology , vol. 6 , nº 1. p. 65-72. DOI: 10.1093/beheco/6.1.65.

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Résumé

A field experiment was carried out to determine whether group-foraging starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) use public information to help them estimate the quality of an artificial resource patch and depart accordingly. Three kinds of information are potentially available in a group: patch-sample information, pre-harvest information, and public information. These three types of information can be combined into four patch assessment strategies: (1) patch-sample alone; (2) patch-sample and pre-harvest; (3) patch-sample and public; and (4) patch-sample, pre-harvest, and public. Depending on the foraging environment we presented to the starlings, each assessment strategy made a unique set of predictions concerning the patch departure decisions of pairs of birds based on differences in their foraging success. The environment was manipulated in two ways: by altering the variability in patch quality and by changing compatibility, the ease with which individual birds could simultaneously acquire both patch-sample and public information. Our observations on patch persistence and departure order demonstrate that the starlings used a combination of patch-sample and public information, but not pre-harvest information, to estimate the quality of the experimental patch. Moreover, our results suggest that starlings use public information only when it is easily available and ignore it under incompatible conditions. This study provides the first evidence of public information use in a patch assessment problem.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: group foraging; patch assessment; patch departure; personal information; public information; sturnus vulgaris
Centre: Institut national de la recherche scientifique
Date de dépôt: 02 mai 2018 17:18
Dernière modification: 02 mai 2018 17:18
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/7088

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