Beaver Eater Biomes Essay

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SAMPLE FINAL LAB REPORT 2 Sample Lab Report Abstract The theory of optimal foraging and its relation to central foraging was examined by using the beaver as a model. Beaver food choice was examined by noting the species of woody vegetation, status (chewed vs. not - chewed), distance from the water, and circumference of trees near a beaver pond in North Carolina. Beavers avoided certain speci es of trees and preferred trees that were close to the water. No preference for tree circumference was noted. These data suggest that beaver food choice concurs with the optimal foraging theory. Introduction In this lab, we explore the theory of optimal foraging and the theory of central place foraging using beavers as the model animal. Foraging refers to the mammalian behavior associated with searching for food. The optimal foraging theory assumes that animals feed in a way that maximizes their net rate of energy intake per unit time (Pyke et al. , 1977). An animal may either maximize its daily energy intake (energy maximizer) or minimize the time spent feeding (time minimizer) in order to meet minimum requirements. Herbivores commonly behave as energy ma ximizers (Belovsky , 1986) and accomplish this maximizing behavior by choosing food that is of high quality and has low - search and low - handling time (Pyke et al. , 1977). The central place theory is used to describe animals that collect food and s tore it in a fixed location in their home range, the central place (Jenkins , 1980). The factors associated with the optimal foraging theory also apply to the central place theory. The central place theory predicts that retrieval costs increase linearly wit h distance of the resource from the central place SAMPLE FINAL LAB REPORT 3 (Rockwood and Hubbell , 1987). Central place feeders are very selective when choosing food that is

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