Costs and benefits of within-group spatial position: a feeding competition model

Hirsch, Ben T. (2007) Costs and benefits of within-group spatial position: a feeding competition model. Quarterly Review of Biology, 82 (1). pp. 9-27.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


An animal's within‐group spatial position has several important fitness consequences. Risk of predation, time spent engaging in antipredatory behavior, and feeding competition can all vary with respect to spatial position. Previous research has found evidence that feeding rates are higher at the group edge in many species, but these studies have not represented the entire breadth of dietary diversity and ecological situations faced by many animals. In particular, the presence of concentrated, defendable food patches can lead to increased feeding rates by dominants in the center of the group that are able to monopolize or defend these areas. To fully understand the tradeoffs of within‐group spatial position in relation to a variety of factors, it is important to be able to predict where individuals should preferably position themselves in relation to feeding rates and food competition. A qualitative model is presented here to predict how food depletion time, abundance of food patches within a group, and the presence of prior knowledge of feeding sites affect the payoffs of different within‐group spatial positions for dominant and subordinate animals. In general, when feeding on small abundant food items, individuals at the front edge of the group should have higher foraging success. When feeding on slowly depleted, rare food items, dominants will often have the highest feeding rates in the center of the group. Between these two extreme points of a continuum, an individual's optimal spatial position is predicted to be influenced by an additional combination of factors, such as group size, group spread, satiation rates, and the presence of producer‐scrounger tactics.

Item ID: 44253
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1539-7718
Keywords: within‐group spatial position, feeding competition, scramble competition, contest competition, social foraging, producer‐scrounger, kleptoparasitism, public knowledge, dominance, predation
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2016 22:59
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 2
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page