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For example, the more likely a rival male is to back down from a threat, the more value a male gets out of making the threat.
The more likely, however, that a rival will attack if threatened, the less useful it is to threaten other males. When a Behavioral cost exhibits a number of interacting social behaviors such as this, it can evolve a stable pattern of behaviors known as an evolutionarily stable strategy or ESS.
This term, derived from economic game theorybecame prominent after John Maynard Smith  recognized the possible application of the concept of a Nash equilibrium to model the evolution of behavioral strategies. Evolutionarily stable strategy[ edit ] In short, evolutionary game theory asserts that only strategies that, when common in the population, cannot be "invaded" by any alternative mutant strategy is an ESS, and thus maintained in the population.
In other words, at equilibrium every player should play the best strategic response to each other. When the game is two player and symmetric, each player should play the strategy that provides the response best for it. Therefore, the ESS is considered the evolutionary end point subsequent to the interactions.
As the fitness Behavioral cost by a strategy is influenced by what other individuals are doing the relative frequency of each strategy in the populationbehavior can be governed not only by optimality but the frequencies of strategies adopted by others and are therefore frequency dependent frequency dependence.
Behavioral evolution is therefore influenced by both the physical environment and interactions between other individuals. An example of how changes in geography can make a strategy susceptible to alternative strategies is the parasitization of the African honey bee, A.
Resource defense[ edit ] The term economic defendability was first introduced by Jerram Brown in Economic defendability states that defense of a resource have costs, such as energy expenditure or risk of injury, as well as benefits of priority access to the resource.
Territorial behavior arises when benefits are greater than the costs. Comparing the energetic costs a sunbird expends in a day to the extra nectar gained by defending a territory, researchers showed that birds only became territorial when they were making a net energetic profit.
In contrast, when resource availability is high, there may be so many intruders that the defender would have no time to make use of the resources made available by defense. Sometimes the economics of resource competition favors shared defense.
An example is the feeding territories of the white wagtail. The white wagtails feed on insects washed up by the river onto the bank, which acts as a renewing food supply. If any intruders harvested their territory then the prey would quickly become depleted, but sometimes territory owners tolerate a second bird, known as a satellite.
The two sharers would then move out of phase with one another, resulting in decreased feeding rate but also increased defense, illustrating advantages of group living. Ideal free distribution One of the major models used to predict the distribution of competing individuals amongst resource patches is the ideal free distribution model.
Within this model, resource patches can be of variable quality, and there is no limit to the number of individuals that can occupy and extract resources from a particular patch.
Competition within a particular patch means that the benefit each individual receives from exploiting a patch decreases logarithmically with increasing number of competitors sharing that resource patch.
The model predicts that individuals will initially flock to higher-quality patches until the costs of crowding bring the benefits of exploiting them in line with the benefits of being the only individual on the lesser-quality resource patch.
After this point has been reached, individuals will alternate between exploiting the higher-quality patches and the lower-quality patches in such a way that the average benefit for all individuals in both patches is the same. This model is ideal in that individuals have complete information about the quality of a resource patch and the number of individuals currently exploiting it, and free in that individuals are freely able to choose which resource patch to exploit.
Six fish were placed in a tank, and food items were dropped into opposite ends of the tank at different rates. The rate of food deposition at one end was set at twice that of the other end, and the fish distributed themselves with four individuals at the faster-depositing end and two individuals at the slower-depositing end.
In this way, the average feeding rate was the same for all of the fish in the tank. If one considers mates or potentials mates as a resource, these sexual partners can be randomly distributed amongst resource pools within a given environment.
Following the ideal free distribution model, suitors distribute themselves amongst the potential mates in an effort to maximize their chances or the number of potential matings.If you have a behavior definition that you would like to see added to The Behavior Reporter Behavior Report Card Generator, type it into this form and email it to attheheels.com!
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