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The influence of the diversity and spatiotemporal distribution of flowering plants on pollinator foraging strategies
Plant-pollinator interaction is a strong evolutive force, and bumblebees are model organisms that have shaped much of our current knowledge. Past researches on bumblebees foraging strategies have shown that their efficiency depends on the environmental conditions, like the flower spatial distribution, with bumblebees being able to follow routines while visiting flowers, a behaviour is known as traplining. Moreover, the presence of the conspecifics may also impact foraging decisions, namely the decision on whether to visit a given flower. We propose to use an individual-based model to examine the impact of floral resources distribution and diversity on bumblebees foraging behaviour. The model simulates the equivalent of a day of bumblebee foraging. We follow the journey of pollinators across a simulated floral landscape. We are particularly interested in their foraging efficiency measured by the difference between the energy obtained during the feeding and the cost of moving in the environment. The agent can make decisions at two different levels: while moving between flowers, and while probing (or not) a flower. We will focus on the information used to make those decisions. We will focus on two types of information: the bumblebees can use either personal information (e.g. as in trapline foraging) or social information (e.g. the presence of a conspecific or the scent mark left by other pollinators on the corolla).