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Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Mar 2;108(9):098103. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

Spatiotemporal dynamics of bumblebees foraging under predation risk.

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School of Mathematical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, United Kingdom.


We analyze 3D flight paths of bumblebees searching for nectar in a laboratory experiment with and without predation risk from artificial spiders. For the flight velocities we find mixed probability distributions reflecting the access to the food sources while the threat posed by the spiders shows up only in the velocity correlations. The bumblebees thus adjust their flight patterns spatially to the environment and temporally to predation risk. Key information on response to environmental changes is contained in temporal correlation functions, as we explain by a simple emergent model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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