This paper develops a simplified and experimentally tractable version of Andersson and Krebs‟ (1978) classical model of caching behavior. This study presents three experiments using captive blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) that test the predictions of this model. These experiments explore the effects of three theoretically important variables: availability time (denoted by Ta), handling time (h), and the background foraging rate ( ). Experiment 1 tests the predicted effect of availability time and shows that blue jays cached more food items when availability time was short. Experiment 2 examines the interaction between availability time and handling time. Experiment 2 shows a significant effect of handling time (jays cache more when handling times are short), but no effect of availability time (apparently contradicting experiment 1). Experiment 3 considers the predicted interaction between handling time and habitat richness (as represented by the background foraging rate). This experiment shows significant effects of both handling time and background, but no interaction between the two variables. The implications of these experiments for the further development of our model are discussed.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. December 2010. Major: Ecology Evolution, and Behavior. Advisor: David W. Stephens. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 28 pages. Ill. (some col.)
Wein, Jordan M..
Caching economics: three experiments on the economic determinants of caching behavior..
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