# On the Theory of Optimal Diets

@article{Pulliam1974OnTT, title={On the Theory of Optimal Diets}, author={H. Ronald Pulliam}, journal={The American Naturalist}, year={1974}, volume={108}, pages={59 - 74} }

Using techniques of stochastic theory, I develop a new aproach to predicting optimal diets. The models developed are for a mobile predator feeding on stationary prey; however, the models can easily be extended to include mobile prey. Parameters used in the models are caloric content, time to pursue and density of each prey type, and the speed of the predator. Both clumped and random prey distribution are considered. The models predict the optimal diet of a predator faced with a variety of…

## 695 Citations

A stochastic foraging model with predator training effects. II. Optimal diets

- Environmental Science
- 1981

The choice of two prey types that minimises the probability of starvation

- BusinessBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
- 2004

Two alternative models of the optimal diet of a forager faced with two prey types are developed, based on the minimization of the probability of starvation, and show that factors that have been ignored in classical models may be of importance.

Optimal Diet as a Function of Absolute Abundance, Relative Abundance, and Relative Value of Available Prey

- Environmental ScienceThe American Naturalist
- 1976

absolute abundance of food is the overriding parameter in the determination of optimal diet, which is the set of kinds of prey which if eaten whenever encountered will maximize the intake of food value per unit time.

Sequential-encounter prey choice and effects of spatial resource variability

- Environmental Science
- 1989

The Role of Foraging Time Constraints and Variable Prey Encounter in Optimal Diet Choice

- Environmental ScienceThe American Naturalist
- 1983

Optimal diet choice is analyzed by relaxing two sets of assumptions made in previous optimality models and it is shown that as variance in prey encounter rate increases, the time over which the forager estimates prey encounter rates will have a strong effect on the ability of the foragers to maximize the net rate of energy intake.

Mixed encounters, limited perception and optimal foraging

- Environmental Science, MathematicsBulletin of mathematical biology
- 2000

This article demonstrates how perceptual constraints of predators and the possibility that predators encounter prey both sequentially (one prey type at a time) and simultaneously (two or more prey…

Predators feeding on behaviourally responsive prey: some implications for classical models of optimal diet choice

- Environmental Science, Mathematics
- 2003

This work incorporated anti-predator vigilance into two classical models of diet choice by predators in which predators encounter two types of prey either simultaneously or sequentially, causing predators to adopt a more generalized diet than one might predict on the basis of classical theory.

## References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 21 REFERENCES

Models of Optimal Size for Solitary Predators

- Environmental ScienceThe American Naturalist
- 1969

Models are presented which predict an optimal size, defined as that size which takes the least amount of time to satisfy its energy requirements, for several types of predators: I-predators which…

Switching in General Predators: Experiments on Predator Specificity and Stability of Prey Populations

- Environmental Science
- 1969

From a number of experiments it was concluded that in the weak—preference case no switch would occur in nature except where there is an opportunity for predators to become trained to the abundant species, and a patchy distribution of the abundant prey could provide this opportunity.

The Role of Time and Energy in Food Preference

- EconomicsThe American Naturalist
- 1966

A model which relates optimal food preference relationships and caloric yield per unit time of potential food sources is derived and the terms pegmatype and pegmatypic mating are introduced to describe such mating preferences and such a mating system.

An Optimization Model of Food Selection

- Environmental ScienceThe American Naturalist
- 1971

An optimization model has been developed for the analysis of food selection behavior and generates hypotheses concerning conditions for "predator switching" and other predator strategies.

Optimal Choice in Animals

- Environmental ScienceThe American Naturalist
- 1968

Though the energy and nutrient values of various foods and the types of experiences affecting food preferences in predators may change in time, predictions of food preferences based on considerations of' a predator's current habitat should prove of some value.

Life-History Consequences of Natural Selection: Cole's Result Revisited

- BiologyThe American Naturalist
- 1973

Some general results are proved to prove some general results on life-history strategies to give at least one answer to why there should be perennials.

Comparative Feeding Ecology of a Tropical Grassland Finch (Tiaris Olivacea)

- Biology
- 1971

It is suggested that an increase in the variance of bill size of island grassquits occurs only in large populations and concomitant with an increases in the number of habitats occupied by the population.

An Hypothesis to Explain the Incidence of Monophagy

- Biology
- 1969

Monphagy or polyphagy may be favored, depending on the proportion of an extended diet that would be unsuitable if chosen, versus the difficulty in finding the most suitable food.

The Feeding Ecology of Five Sympatric Finch Species.

- Environmental ScienceEcology
- 1971

Within habitats the overlap of food-size utilization of five sympatric finch species is almost 100% despite considerable differences in culmen lengths, which is suggested to reflect differences in the proportion of large seeds in the set of habitats in which each species feeds.

Population Ecology of Desert Rodent Communities: Body Size and Seed-Husking as Bases for Heteromyid Coexistence

- Biology
- 1970

It is believed that smaller animals have a competitive advantage while husking seeds because they have a smaller metabolic drain, and resource allocation based on husking speed differences would seem of little potential importance in maintaining competing heteromyids in a state of coexistence.