You are not currently logged in.
Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Foraging Strategy, Worker Mortality, and the Growth of the Colony in Social Insects
Alasdair Houston, Paul Schmid-Hempel and Alejandro Kacelnik
The American Naturalist
Vol. 131, No. 1 (Jan., 1988), pp. 107-114
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2461802
Page Count: 8
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
Models of optimal foraging often assume that maximizing the long-term net rate of gain is equivalent to maximizing fitness. We present a model that challenges this view on theoretical grounds for foragers from colonies of social insects. To maximize the number of reproductive forms produced by a colony, the production of new workers should be at a maximum during the ergonomic stage of a colony's development. However, when the mortality rate of workers depends on foraging performance, then maximization of the net rate no longer maximizes fitness. Under such conditions, the model predicts deviations from net-rate maximization (gain per unit of time) that may resemble the maximization of efficiency (gain per metabolic expenditure), as found in our earlier studies.
The American Naturalist © 1988 The University of Chicago Press