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Optimizing time and resource allocation trade-offs for investment into morphological and behavioral defense


Steiner, U K; Pfeiffer, T (2007). Optimizing time and resource allocation trade-offs for investment into morphological and behavioral defense. American Naturalist, 169:118-129.

Abstract

Prey organisms are confronted with time and resource allocation trade-offs. Time allocation trade-offs partition time, for example, between foraging effort to acquire resources and behavioral defense. Resource allocation trade-offs partition the acquired resources between multiple traits, such as growth or morphological defense. We develop a mathematical model for prey organisms that comprise time and resource allocation trade-offs for multiple defense traits. Fitness is determined by growth and survival during ontogeny. We determine optimal defense strategies for environments that differ in their resource abundance, predation risk, and defense effectiveness. We compare the results with results of simplified models where single defense traits are optimized. Our results indicate that selection acts in favor of integrated traits. The selective advantage of expressing multiple defense traits is most pronounced at intermediate environmental conditions. Optimizing single traits generally leads to a more pronounced response of the defense traits, which implies that studying single traits leads to an overestimation of their response to predation. Behavioral defense and morphological defense compensate for and augment each other depending on predator densities and the effectiveness of the defense mechanisms. In the presence of time constraints, the model shows peak investment into morphological and behavioral defense at intermediate resource levels.

Prey organisms are confronted with time and resource allocation trade-offs. Time allocation trade-offs partition time, for example, between foraging effort to acquire resources and behavioral defense. Resource allocation trade-offs partition the acquired resources between multiple traits, such as growth or morphological defense. We develop a mathematical model for prey organisms that comprise time and resource allocation trade-offs for multiple defense traits. Fitness is determined by growth and survival during ontogeny. We determine optimal defense strategies for environments that differ in their resource abundance, predation risk, and defense effectiveness. We compare the results with results of simplified models where single defense traits are optimized. Our results indicate that selection acts in favor of integrated traits. The selective advantage of expressing multiple defense traits is most pronounced at intermediate environmental conditions. Optimizing single traits generally leads to a more pronounced response of the defense traits, which implies that studying single traits leads to an overestimation of their response to predation. Behavioral defense and morphological defense compensate for and augment each other depending on predator densities and the effectiveness of the defense mechanisms. In the presence of time constraints, the model shows peak investment into morphological and behavioral defense at intermediate resource levels.

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39 citations in Web of Science®
41 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Zoology (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:17
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:15
Publisher:University of Chicago Press
ISSN:0003-0147
Additional Information:© 2007 by The University of Chicago
Publisher DOI:10.1086/509939
PubMed ID:17206590
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-699

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