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Lecture 4

BIOL 3062 Lecture 4: Lecture 4

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Dalhousie University
BIOL 3062
Andy Horn

Lecture 4: Methods part 2 Methods of behavioural ecology - Optimality models o Balancing costs and fitness o How to make optimality models ▪ 1) Define the behaviour as a simple decision • Ex. In terns (colonial birds) some will dive at foxes – used to scare them away ▪ 2) Define constraints • Benefit and cost curves ▪ 3) Choose currency • Fitness o Might modify behaviour if others in group are doing the work o Game theory ▪ Optimum behaviour is based on what other individuals in the group are doing • Core concept – evolutionary stable strategy – once strategy is adopted by most individuals it sticks around long term ▪ Explains situations of balanced behaviour • Figure out the stable proportion of cautious terns vs. daring terns o o Evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) ▪ Have two strategies • Daring mobbers dive at foxes, cautious mobbers stay back o Fitness of cautious mobbers is dependent on number of daring mobbers, and vice versa ▪ Cautious mobbers have highest fitness when they are rare and daring are common – have highest reproductive success due to having protection – cautious increases in frequency in the population ▪ If start with few daring, fitness of cautious mobbers is low due to being easily hunted by foxes, whereas daring are harder to catch so their frequency increased ▪ ESS: A strategy that, when adopted by most members of the population, cannot be beaten by any other strategy in the game • Where pay-offs are equal ▪ Pay-off matrix • Rock vs. paper o Over evolutionary time,
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