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The community consequences of intra-specific trait variation (ITV) are a current topic in ecological research. The effects of ITV on species coexistence have, yet, not sufficiently been understood. With this individual-based model we analyzed the effect of intra-specific variation in movement by mimicking variation found in ground-dwelling rodents and analyzing how such variation affects inter-specific differences in competitive ability (i.e. foraging efficiency) and temporary coexistence. The movement algorithm and behavioral plasticity was adapted from existing algorithms and current ecological literature. As a measure for temporary coexistence, we analyzed the time until one of the species went extinct.
The model represents migration of the green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, between foraging and breeding sites in the Southwest Indian Ocean. The purpose of the model is to investigate the impact of local environmental conditions, including the quality of foraging sites and ocean currents, on emerging migratory corridors and reproductive output and to thereby identify conservation priority sites.
Corresponding article to found here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/ece3.5552
The Palaeo-Agulhas Plain formed an important habitat exploited by Pleistocene hunter-gatherer populations during periods of lower sea level. This productive, grassy habitat would have supported numerous large-bodied ungulates accessible to a population of skilled hunters with the right hunting technology. It also provided a potentially rich location for plant food collection, and along its shores a coastline that moved with the rise and fall of sea levels. The rich archaeological and paleontological records of Pleistocene sites along the modern Cape south coast of South Africa, which would have overlooked the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain during Pleistocene times of lower sea level, provides a paleoarchive of this extinct ecosystem. In this paper, we present a first order illustration of the “palaeoscape modeling” approach advocated by Marean et al. (2015). We use a resourcescape model created from modern studies of habitat productivity without the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain. This is equivalent to predominant Holocene conditions. We then run an agent-based model of the human foraging system to investigate several research questions. Our agent-based approach uses the theoretical framework of optimal foraging theory to model human foraging decisions designed to optimize the net caloric gains within a complex landscape of spatially and temporally variable resources. We find that during the high sea-levels of MIS 5e (+5-6 m asl) and the Holocene, the absence of the Plain left a relatively poor food base supporting a much smaller population relying heavily on edible plant resources from the current Cape flora. Despite high species diversity of plants with edible storage organs, and marine invertebrates, encounter rates with highly profitable resources were low. We demonstrate that without the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain, human populations must have been small and low density, and exploited plant, mammal, and marine resources with relatively low caloric returns. The exposure and contraction of the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain was likely the single biggest driver of behavioral change during periods of climate change through the Pleistocene and into the transition to the Holocene.
The Opportunistic Acquisition Model (OAM) posits that the archaeological lithic raw material frequencies are due to opportunistic encounters with sources while randomly walking in an environment.
Agent-based model of hunting behavior of Ache hunter-gatherers from Paraguay. We evaluate the effect of group size and cooperative hunting
This spatially explicit agent-based model addresses how effective foraging radius (r_e) affects the effective size–and thus the equilibrium cultural diversity–of a structured population composed of central-place foraging groups.
Ants in the genus Temnothorax use tandem runs (rather than pheromone trails) to recruit to food sources. This model explores the collective consequences of this linear recruitment (as opposed to highly nonlinear pheromone trails).