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Ellis, Samuel; Franks, Daniel W; Robinson, Elva J H (2014)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Journal: Behavioral Ecology
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: Original Article, self-organization, Formica lugubris, wood ants., polydomy, network analysis, levels of selection
An important problem facing organisms in a heterogeneous environment is how to redistribute resources to where they are required. This is particularly complex in social insect societies as resources have to be moved both from the environment into the nest and between individuals within the nest. Polydomous ant colonies are split between multiple spatially separated, but socially connected, nests. Whether, and how, resources are redistributed between nests in polydomous colonies is unknown. We analyzed the nest networks of the facultatively polydomous wood ant Formica lugubris. Our results indicate that resource redistribution in polydomous F. lugubris colonies is organized at the local level between neighboring nests and not at the colony level. We found that internest trails connecting nests that differed more in their amount of foraging were stronger than trails between nests with more equal foraging activity. This indicates that resources are being exchanged directly from nests with a foraging excess to nests that require resources. In contrast, we found no significant relationships between nest properties, such as size and amount of foraging, and network measures such as centrality and connectedness. This indicates an absence of a colony-level resource exchange. This is a clear example of a complex behavior emerging as a result of local interactions between parts of a system.
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    • Rosengren R, Fortelius W. 1986. Ortstreue in foraging ants ofFothrmeica Sorvari J, Hakkarainen H. 2009. Forest clear-cutting causes small w-ork rufa group-hierarchy of orienting cues and long term memory. Insectes ers in the polydomous wood antFormica aquilonia. Ann Zool Fenn. Soc. 33(3):306-337. 46(6):431-438.
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    • Rosengren R, Sundström L. 1991. The interaction between red wood ants Watts DJ, Strogatz SH. 1998. Collective dynamics of “small-world” -net Cinara aphids, and pines. A ghost of mutualism past? In: Huxley CR, Cutler works. Nature. 393(6684):440-442. DF, editors. Ant-plant interactions. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 80-9V1a.n Wilgenburg E, Elgar MA. 2007. Colony structure and spatial distr-ibu Schmolke A. 2009. Beneits of dispersed central-place foraging: an in-dividtion of food resources in the polydomous meat aIrnidtomyrmex purpureus. ual-based model of a polydomous ant colony. Am Nat. 173(6):772-778. Insectes Soc. 54(1):5-10.
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