Document Detail

Exploration versus exploitation in polydomous ant colonies.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23380232     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
In socially foraging species resource information can be shared between individuals, increasing foraging success. In ant colonies, nestmate recruitment allows high exploitation rates at known resources however, to maximize foraging efficiency this must be balanced with searching for new resources. Many ant species form colonies inhabiting two or more spatially separated but socially connected nests: this type of organization is known as polydomy. Polydomous colonies may benefit from increased foraging efficiency by carrying out dispersed-central place foraging. However, decentralisation of the colony may affect recruitment success by limiting interaction between ants based in separate nests. We use an agent-based model which compares the foraging success of monodomous and polydomous colonies in different food environments, incorporating recruitment through pheromone trails and group foraging. In contrast to previous results we show that polydomy is beneficial in some but not all cases. Polydomous colonies discover resources at a higher rate, making them more successful when food is highly dispersed, but their relative success can be lowered by limitations on recruitment success. Monodomous colonies can have higher foraging efficiency than polydomous colonies by exploiting food more rapidly. The results show the importance of interactions between recruitment strategy, colony size, and colony organisation.
Zoe Cook; Daniel W Franks; Elva Jh Robinson
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-2-1
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of theoretical biology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1095-8541     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Theor. Biol.     Publication Date:  2013 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-2-5     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376342     Medline TA:  J Theor Biol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis, University of York, York, YO10 5GE; Department of Biology, University of York, York YO10 5YW. Electronic address:
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