Adaptive Herbivore Ecology: From Resources to Populations in Variable Environments

The adaptation of herbivore behavior to seasonal and geo- graphic variations in vegetation quantity and quality is inadequately modeled by conventional methods. Norman Owen-Smith innovatively links the principles of adaptive behavior to their consequences for population dynamics and community ecology, through the application of a metaphysiological modeling approach. The modeling approach accommodates various sources of environmental variability, in space and time, in a simple conceptual way and has the potential to be applied to other consumer-resource systems. Norman Owen-Smith is Research Professor in African Ecology and heads the Centre for African Ecology at the University of the Witwatersrand.