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energy and nutrients (2).docx

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Kim Dej

October 1 , 2012 Biology 2F03: Fundamental and Applied Ecology Energy and nutrients (2) Question - does the amount of food consumed change depending on how much is available: behave in respect to the amount of food, functional responses - Is this change regular or can it take different forms? Functional responses - how much a predator eats depends on prey density - but it does not depend in the same way - the three curves differ mainly in how food intake by the consumer changes at low food densities - all three curves level off at medium to high prey density - three types of response:  type 1: linear, mechanical  type 2: gradually saturating, glutton  type 3: slow to start, connoisseur - they tell us how an animal finds or handles prey Optimal foraging theory - is based on balancing the energy invested and energy gained (optimization) - can be applied to plants; helps predict the best way of using water and nutrients - low prey capture rate and high search efforts are bad news Optimization in plants - root length changes in response to water availability - same applies to other nutrients – plants optimize resource allocation - root: shoot ratio – a measure of relative i
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