Document Detail

Leader-based and self-organized communication: Modelling group-mass recruitment in ants.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22884918     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
For collective decisions to be made, the information acquired by experienced individuals about resources' location has to be shared with naïve individuals through recruitment. Here, we investigate the properties of collective responses arising from a leader-based recruitment and a self-organized communication by chemical trails. We develop a generalized model based on biological data drawn from Tetramorium caespitum ant species of which collective foraging relies on the coupling of group leading and trail recruitment. We show that for leader-based recruitment, small groups of recruits have to be guided in a very efficient way to allow a collective exploitation of food while large group requires less attention from their leader. In the case of self-organized recruitment through a chemical trail, a critical value of trail amount has to be laid per forager in order to launch collective food exploitation. Thereafter, ants can maintain collective foraging by emitting signal intensity below this threshold. Finally, we demonstrate how the coupling of both recruitment mechanisms may benefit to collectively foraging species. These theoretical results are then compared with experimental data from recruitment by T. caespitum ant colonies performing group-mass recruitment towards a single food source. We evidence the key role of leaders as initiators and catalysts of recruitment before this leader-based process is overtaken by self-organised communication through trails. This model brings new insights as well as a theoretical background to empirical studies about cooperative foraging in group-living species.
Bertrand Collignon; Jean Louis Deneubourg; Claire Detrain
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-8-5
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of theoretical biology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1095-8541     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Theor. Biol.     Publication Date:  2012 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-8-13     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 © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Service d'Ecologie Sociale CP. 231, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Boulevard du Triomphe, 1050 Brussels, Belgium.
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