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Patch Leaving Decision Rules in Parasitoids: Do They Use Sequential Decisional Sampling?

Abstract : Within the framework of optimal foraging theory, models assume that parasitoid insects are able to evaluate the quality of the patch in which they are currently searching for hosts and the travel time between patches. They can adjust their residence time in consequence. Simple and more realistic decision mechanisms that induce behavior compatible with the predictions of these models have been proposed for a number of species. Most of these decision mechanisms only take into account the presence of unparasitized hosts. Here, we studied the consequences for leaving patches containing different proportions of unparasitized and parasitized hosts. We support the hypothesis that parasitoids sample their environment and we propose a binomial sequential model, based on the type of host encountered (unparasitized or parasitized) instead of on the time spent in a patch, to explain the giving-up behavior of a parasitoid in a patch. A motivational incremental/decremental stochastic process is proposed to explain a possible mechanism of the apparent sampling scheme followed by the insect. The empirical data support the hypothesis of a sequential, decisional, binomial sampling scheme performed with a limited memory. This memory is, in fact, more an effect of habituation than the “true memory” of the parasitoid. The theoretical model was applied to real data obtained with an encyrtid parasitoid. These data were also compared to realizations of the incremental/decremental process.
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Submitted on : Monday, July 18, 2016 - 11:36:57 AM
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Jean-Sébastien Pierre, Joan van Baaren, Guy Boivin. Patch Leaving Decision Rules in Parasitoids: Do They Use Sequential Decisional Sampling?. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Springer Verlag, 2003, 54, pp.147-155. ⟨10.1007/s00265-003-0617-0⟩. ⟨hal-01346050⟩



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