State-dependent foraging: lactating voles adjust their foraging behavior according to the presence of a potential nest predator and season
Liesenjohann, T., Liesenjohann, M., Trebatická, L., Sundell, J., Haapakoski, M., Ylönen, H., & Eccard, J. A. (2015). State-dependent foraging: lactating voles adjust their foraging behavior according to the presence of a potential nest predator and season. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 69 (5), 747-754. doi:10.1007/s00265-015-1889-x
Published inBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
DisciplineEkologia ja evoluutiobiologia
© The Author(s) 2015. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Parental care often produces a trade-off between meeting nutritional demands of offspring and the duties of offspring protection, especially in altricial species. Parents have to leave their young unattended for foraging trips, during which nestlings are exposed to predators. We investigated how rodent mothers of altricial young respond to risk of nest predation in their foraging decisions. We studied foraging behavior of lactating bank voles (Myodes glareolus) exposed to a nest predator, the common shrew (Sorex araneus). We conducted the experiment in summer (high resource provisioning for both species) and autumn (less food available) in 12 replicates with fully crossed factors Bshrew presence^ and Bseason.^ We monitored use of feeding stations near and far from the nest as measurement of foraging activity and strategic foraging behavior. Vole mothers adapted their strategies to shrew presence and optimized their foraging behavior according to seasonal constraints, resulting in an interaction of treatment and season. In summer, shrew presence reduced food intake from feeding stations, while it enhanced intake in autumn. Shrew presence decreased the number of visited feeding stations in autumn and concentrated mother’s foraging efforts to fewer stations. Independent of shrew presence or season, mothers foraged more in patches further away from the nest than near the nest. Results indicate that females are not investing in nest guarding but try to avoid the accumulation of olfactory cues near the nest leading a predator to the young. Additionally, our study shows how foraging strategies and nest attendance are influenced by seasonal food provision. ...