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A Cost-Benefit Model of Grazing Intake and Diet Selection in a two-species Temperate Grassland Sward
J. H. M. Thornley, A. J. Parsons, J. Newman and P. D. Penning
Vol. 8, No. 1 (Feb., 1994), pp. 5-16
Published by: British Ecological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2390105
Page Count: 12
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1. A cost-benefit model of the grazing behaviour of large generalist herbivores on temperate grassland swards is presented. We consider the energetic benefits in terms of the net energy retention curve, and the energetic costs due to the increased search time that may accompany a more selective diet. 2. Parameters are fitted and solutions generated for the case of sheep grazing temperature pastures comprising ryegrass and clover. 3. The model provides a hypothesis that, in many swards, the upper limit on total daily intake may be the result of a behavioural adaptation rather than any physiological or morphological constraint. The model also helps to clarify the concepts of diet preference and optimal diets among grazing herbivores.
Functional Ecology © 1994 British Ecological Society