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Type: Journal article
Title: Social network analysis and nutritional behavior: an integrated modeling approach
Author: Senior, A.
Lihoreau, M.
Buhl, J.
Raubenheimer, D.
Simpson, S.
Citation: Frontiers in Psychology, 2016; 7(JAN):18-1-18-10
Publisher: Frontiers Media
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 1664-1078
Statement of
Alistair M.Senior, Mathieu Lihoreau, Jerome Buhl, David Raubenheimer and Stephen J.Simpson
Abstract: Animals have evolved complex foraging strategies to obtain a nutritionally balanced diet and associated fitness benefits. Recent research combining state-space models of nutritional geometry with agent-based models (ABMs), show how nutrient targeted foraging behavior can also influence animal social interactions, ultimately affecting collective dynamics and group structures. Here we demonstrate how social network analyses can be integrated into such a modeling framework and provide a practical analytical tool to compare experimental results with theory. We illustrate our approach by examining the case of nutritionally mediated dominance hierarchies. First we show how nutritionally explicit ABMs that simulate the emergence of dominance hierarchies can be used to generate social networks. Importantly the structural properties of our simulated networks bear similarities to dominance networks of real animals (where conflicts are not always directly related to nutrition). Finally, we demonstrate how metrics from social network analyses can be used to predict the fitness of agents in these simulated competitive environments. Our results highlight the potential importance of nutritional mechanisms in shaping dominance interactions in a wide range of social and ecological contexts. Nutrition likely influences social interactions in many species, and yet a theoretical framework for exploring these effects is currently lacking. Combining social network analyses with computational models from nutritional ecology may bridge this divide, representing a pragmatic approach for generating theoretical predictions for nutritional experiments.
Keywords: animal behavior; dominance hierarchy; geometric framework; nutrition; nutritional geometry; social networks
Rights: Copyright © 2016 Senior, Lihoreau, Buhl, Raubenheimer and Simpson. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
RMID: 0030043970
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00018
Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications

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