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Distinguishing Social from Nonsocial Navigation in Moving Animal Groups

Bode, Nikolai WF and Franks, Daniel W and Wood, A Jamie and Piercy, Julius JB and Croft, Darren P and Codling, Edward A (2012) 'Distinguishing Social from Nonsocial Navigation in Moving Animal Groups.' The American Naturalist, 179 (5). pp. 621-632. ISSN 0003-0147

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Many animals, such as migrating shoals of fish, navigate in groups. Knowing the mechanisms involved in animal navigation is important when it comes to explaining navigation accuracy, dispersal patterns, population and evolutionary dynamics, and consequently, the design of conservation strategies. When navigating toward a common target, animals could interact socially by sharing available information directly or indirectly, or each individual could navigate by itself and aggregations may not disperse because all animals are moving toward the same target. Here we present an analysis technique that uses individual movement trajectories to determine the extent to which individuals in navigating groups interact socially, given knowledge of their target. The basic idea of our approach is that the movement directions of individuals arise from a combination of responses to the environment and to other individuals. We estimate the relative importance of these responses, distinguishing between social and nonsocial interactions. We develop and test our method, using simulated groups, and we demonstrate its applicability to empirical data in a case study on groups of guppies moving toward shelter in a tank. Our approach is generic and can be extended to different scenarios of animal group movement. © 2012 by The University of Chicago.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: animal behavior; animal movement; sociality; animal migration; group navigation; collective behavior
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Mathematical Sciences, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2012 09:51
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 11:14

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