Resource redistribution in polydomous ant nest networks: Local or global?

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Abstract

*[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 & 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 & amount of foraging, & network measures such as centrality & 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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Ellis, S., Franks, D. W., & Robinson, E. J. H. (2014). Resource redistribution in polydomous ant nest networks: Local or global? Behavioral Ecology, 25(5), 1183–1191. https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/aru108

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