Counterintuitive prey strategies against predators with finite budgets: protection heterogeneity among sites matters more than their number

Paul Clémençon, Steve Alpern, Shmuel Gal, Jérôme Casas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Combining the search and pursuit aspects of predator-prey interactions into a single game, where the payoff to the Searcher (predator) is the probability of finding and capturing the Hider (prey) within a fixed number of searches was proposed by Gal and Casas (J. R. Soc. Interface 11, 20140062 (doi:10.1098/rsif.2014.0062)). Subsequent models allowed the predator to continue its search (in another 'round') if the prey was found but escaped the chase. However, it is unrealistic to allow this pattern of prey relocation to go on forever, so here we introduce a limit of the total number of searches, in all 'rounds', that the predator can carry out. We show how habitat structural complexity affects the mean time until capture: the quality of the location with the lowest capture probability matters more than the number of hiding locations. Moreover, we observed that the parameter space defined by the capture probabilities in each location and the budget of the predator can be divided into distinct domains, defining whether the prey ought to play with pure or mixed hiding strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20230216
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Volume20
Issue number206
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)

Keywords

  • behavioural ecology
  • predator-prey interactions
  • pursuit
  • recursive game
  • search games
  • structural complexity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials

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