How Important are Nutrient Constraints in Optimal Foraging Models or are Spatial/Temporal Factors More Important?

  • Gary E. Belovsky
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 20)


Optimal foraging theory (henceforth called OFT) perhaps has achieved some of the greatest successes in quantitatively predicting observed patterns (i.e. diets) in nature, than any other ecological theory (Schoener 1986, Stephens and Krebs 1986). This is not to say that OFT has been accepted without reservation, nor that the predictive successes of the theory are unambiguous (Gray 1986, Pierce and Ollason 1987). Two major complaints about OFT studies have been espoused. First, predicted diets may not be as close to the observed values as implied by investigators. Second, investigators sometimes invoke post hoc explanations when predicted and observed values do not closely correspond.


Diet Choice Optimal Forage Mule Deer Grasshopper Species Digestive Capacity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary E. Belovsky
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biology and School of Natural ResourcesUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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