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Optimal Foraging: Sit-and-wait Predators that Maximize Energy





The screen shot of the simulator is as shown below.



User Instructions:


 The simulator consists of three regions: the simulator's viewable window, the variables menu and the simulation control menu.


The Variables Menu:


The variables menu section consists of three subtabs for the simulation of the model to calculate the reciprocal proportion, average time and energy gain.


User can click on any of these three options and can enter the values for each of the variables to simulate the model. The values shown in the 'Variables' Menu of these three tabs are default values. User can change the values for the parameters according to the Data to be tested.


When the user clicks on the ‘Reciprocal Proportion’ the variables menu will be shown as follows:



The variables include: Abundance of prey (a) and Cut-off Radius. For example, if there is an abundance of 1 prey in every 100 seconds, a = 0.01.   In this exercise we assume the possible foraging area of the predator as a semicircle. The outer boundary of the semicircle is referred as the cut-off radius.


When the ‘Average Time’ is clicked, the variables menu is as shown below.



The average pursuit time is the time taken by the predator to pursue a prey in all parts of its foraging area. The parameters include: Abundance of prey (a), Velocity (v) and Cut-off radius.


Clicking on the ‘Energy Gain’ tab allow the user to calculate the net energy gain. The average rate of energy gain from foraging in a particular area (we assume it as a semicircle) is the average energy per prey divided by the average time spent getting it.



The parameters are, Abundance of prey (a), Velocity (v), Energy content of each prey item (e), Energy burned (ew), which means the energy burned by a predator while waiting for the prey, Flying speed of predator (v), Energy burned while predation (ep)  and Cut-off radius.


Simulation Controls Menu:



These set of buttons are used for controlling the simulation. The ‘Plot Graph’ button is to simulate the model and the 'Reset' button resets the simulator to the default values.





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