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Type: Journal article
Title: 1ollective selection of food patches in Drosophila
Author: Lihoreau, M.
Clarke, I.
Buhl, J.
Sumpter, D.
Simpson, S.
Citation: The Journal of Experimental Biology, 2016; 219(5):668-675
Publisher: Company of Biologists Ltd.
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 0022-0949
Statement of
Mathieu Lihoreau, Ireni M. Clarke, Jerome Buhl, David J.T. Sumpter, and Stephen J. Simpson
Abstract: The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has emerged as a model organism for research on social interactions. Although recent studies have described how individuals interact on foods for nutrition and reproduction, the complex dynamics by which groups initially develop and disperse have received little attention. Here we investigated the dynamics of collective foraging decisions by D. melanogaster and their variation with group size and composition. Groups of adults and larvae facing a choice between two identical, nutritionally balanced food patches distributed themselves asymmetrically, thereby exploiting one patch more than the other. The speed of the collective decisions increased with group size, as a result of flies joining foods faster. However, smaller groups exhibited more pronounced distribution asymmetries than larger ones. Using computer simulations, we show how these non-linear phenomena can emerge from social attraction towards occupied food patches, whose effects add up or compete depending on group size. Our results open new opportunities for exploring complex dynamics of nutrient selection in simple and genetically tractable groups.
Keywords: Aggregation; Drosophila melanogaster; collective behaviour; foraging; fruit flies; individual-based model; social attraction
Rights: © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd
DOI: 10.1242/jeb.127431
Grant ID: ARC
Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications
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