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A theory of the use of information by enemies in the predator-prey space race

Abstract : We currently lack a comprehensive theory about how behaviourally responsive predators and prey use the information they acquire about the environment and each other’s presence while engaged in the ‘space race’. This limits our understanding of the role of behaviour in trophic relationships and our ability to predict predators and prey distributions. Here we combined a simulation model with a genetic algorithm to discover how predators and prey behaving optimally should use information in environments with different levels of heterogeneity in prey forage distribution and prey vulnerability. Our results demonstrate the key role of movement unpredictability in successful strategies for both predators and prey, supporting the ‘shell-game’ hypothesis. We however reveal striking differences between predators and prey in the magnitude of this unpredictability, and in how it varies with the environment. Our work offers a robust theoretical framework to better understand predator-prey space use and interpret empirical studies.
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Preprints, Working Papers, ...
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Contributor : Simon Chamaillé-Jammes <>
Submitted on : Saturday, November 28, 2020 - 2:47:59 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, December 2, 2020 - 3:37:38 AM


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Rémi Patin, Daniel Fortin, Simon Chamaillé-Jammes. A theory of the use of information by enemies in the predator-prey space race. 2020. ⟨hal-03029444⟩



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