A guide to central place effects in foraging.
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We develop a general patch-use model of central place foraging, which subsumes and extends several previous models. The model produces a catalog of central place effects predicting how distance from a central place influences the costs and benefits of foraging, load-size, quitting harvest rates, and giving-up densities. In the model, we separate between costs that are load-size dependent, i.e. a direct effect of the size of the load, and load-size independent effects, such as correlations between distance and patch qualities. We also distinguish between predictions of between- and within-environment comparisons. Foraging costs, giving-up densities and quitting harvest rates should almost always increase with distance with these effects amplified by increases in metabolic costs, predation risk and load-costs. With respect to load-size: when comparing foraging in patches within an environment, we should often expect smaller loads to be taken from distant patches (negative distance-load correlation). However, when comparing between environments, there should be a positive correlation between average distance and load-size.