Fortin2003

Reference

Fortin, D. (2003) Searching behavior and use of sampling information by free-ranging bison (Bos bison). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 54(2):194-203.

Abstract

I examined the searching behavior of free-ranging plains bison (Bos bison bison) in their natural habitat, and determined whether their assessment of food patch quality was influenced by the short-term sampling information acquired during search. Bison used area-concentrated search during their winter foraging activity. Their movements between areas of suitable food patches were influenced by local environmental conditions, being sometimes less sinuous, and at other times more sinuous, than expected from a correlated random walk model. Bison also systematically avoided digging in areas where plants of low profitability lay under the snow. Where they dug, there was evidence that a bison's perception of food quality varied during a foraging bout, and was therefore influenced by short-term sampling information. After controlling for forage quality, I found that small feeding craters were more likely to be preceded by samples of high quality food patches. My observations suggest that bison take advantage of the structural characteristics of their environment during searching activity, and base foraging decisions on local rather than global availability.

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@ARTICLE { Fortin2003,
    AUTHOR = { Fortin, D. },
    TITLE = { Searching behavior and use of sampling information by free-ranging bison (Bos bison) },
    JOURNAL = { Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology },
    YEAR = { 2003 },
    VOLUME = { 54 },
    PAGES = { 194-203 },
    NUMBER = { 2 },
    NOTE = { 707YQ },
    ABSTRACT = { I examined the searching behavior of free-ranging plains bison (Bos bison bison) in their natural habitat, and determined whether their assessment of food patch quality was influenced by the short-term sampling information acquired during search. Bison used area-concentrated search during their winter foraging activity. Their movements between areas of suitable food patches were influenced by local environmental conditions, being sometimes less sinuous, and at other times more sinuous, than expected from a correlated random walk model. Bison also systematically avoided digging in areas where plants of low profitability lay under the snow. Where they dug, there was evidence that a bison's perception of food quality varied during a foraging bout, and was therefore influenced by short-term sampling information. After controlling for forage quality, I found that small feeding craters were more likely to be preceded by samples of high quality food patches. My observations suggest that bison take advantage of the structural characteristics of their environment during searching activity, and base foraging decisions on local rather than global availability. },
    KEYWORDS = { area-concentrated search; bison; correlated random walk; intensive and extensive search modes; reference windows marginal-value theorem; spatial memory; functional-response; travel-time; heterogeneous environments; foraging strategies; patchy environment; exploiting patches; red deer; mechanisms },
    OWNER = { brugerolles },
    TIMESTAMP = { 2007.12.05 },
}

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