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Dynamic optimization in animal feeding strategies, with application to African weaver birds

  • P. L. Katz
Contributed Papers

Abstract

Feeding by an animal having several modes of food searching is considered as an optimal control problem. State equations arise from a model of mass or energy balance of the feeder. Control and state constraints result, respectively, from daily-feeding-time restrictions and from the prohibition against starvation. Various possible cost indices result from various models of long-range goals of the feeder, stated in terms of natural selection pressure.

As an example, a simplified model is posed for the African weaver birdQuelea quelea. Using a global, long-range cost index of minimum total feeding time over the year, good qualitative agreement is reached between the model and the actual animal, in terms of daily feeding strategies and weight gain histories. (The description of the animal's feeding practices is summarized from 1965 and 1971 field observation papers by Ward.)

Key Words

Animal foraging strategies modeling of ecosystems optimal control bounded state problems bounded control problems sufficient conditions 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. L. Katz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Information EngineeringUniversity of Illinois at Chicago CircleChicago

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