Document Detail

A dynamic model of hypothermia as an adaptive response by small birds to winter conditions.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12000149     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We present a dynamic programming model which is used to investigate hypothermia as an adaptive response by small passerine birds in winter. The model predicts that there is a threshold function of reserves during the night, below which it is optimal to enter hypothermia, and above which it is optimal to rest. This threshold function decreases during the night, with a particularly sharp drop at the end of the night, representing the time and energy costs associated with returning to normal body temperature. The results of the model emphasise the trade-off between energy and predation, not just between foraging options, but also between foraging during the day and entering hypothermia at night. The value of being able to use hypothermia represents not just energy savings, but also reduced predation risk due to changes in the optimal foraging strategy. Conditions which give a high value of hypothermia are short photoperiod, variable food supply, low temperatures, poor and scarce food supplies.
N J Welton; A I Houston; J Ekman; J M McNamara
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Acta biotheoretica     Volume:  50     ISSN:  0001-5342     ISO Abbreviation:  Acta Biotheor.     Publication Date:  2002  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-05-09     Completed Date:  2002-10-18     Revised Date:  2003-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0421520     Medline TA:  Acta Biotheor     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  39-56     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Mathematics, CEMS, University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
Behavior, Animal
Birds / physiology*
Body Temperature
Energy Metabolism
Mathematical Computing
Models, Biological*
Predatory Behavior

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