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Patch Residence Time and Encounters With Parasitised Hosts: a Reaction

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Patch residence time of a foraging parasitoid is determined by different interplaying events. It has been shown that for some species initial motivation to search the patch is modified by ovipositions and that the effect depends on their timing. Here, I address the question whether encounters with parasitised hosts affect the probability that a parasitoid will leave a patch. I show that, like the effect of ovipositions, a possible effect of encounters with parasitised hosts would depend on the sequence of encounters with parasitised hosts and ovipositions and their timing. Therefore, experimental data collected to demonstrate a possible effect cannot be analysed with simple non-parametric statistics, but should be analysed using Cox (1972) proportional hazards model. I argue that experimental data and statistical analysis used by VAN LENTEREN (1991), do not allow the conclusion that encounters with parasitised hosts as such have a decremental effect on patch time. I also show that previous experience with ovipositions in unparasitised hosts is not needed to generate shorter patch times on patches containing parasitised hosts.

Affiliations: 1: (Department of Population Biology, University of Leiden, P.O. Box 9516, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands


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