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Elife. 2017 Jan 31;6. pii: e19505. doi: 10.7554/eLife.19505.

Habitat and social factors shape individual decisions and emergent group structure during baboon collective movement.

Author information

1
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, United States.
2
Department of Collective Behaviour, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Konstanz, Germany.
3
Department of Biology, Chair of Biodiversity and Collective Behaviour, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany.
4
Department of Zoology, Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
5
Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis, Davis, United States.
6
Animal Behaviour Graduate Group, University of California, Davis, Davis, United States.
7
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, , Panama.

Abstract

For group-living animals traveling through heterogeneous landscapes, collective movement can be influenced by both habitat structure and social interactions. Yet research in collective behavior has largely neglected habitat influences on movement. Here we integrate simultaneous, high-resolution, tracking of wild baboons within a troop with a 3-dimensional reconstruction of their habitat to identify key drivers of baboon movement. A previously unexplored social influence - baboons' preference for locations that other troop members have recently traversed - is the most important predictor of individual movement decisions. Habitat is shown to influence movement over multiple spatial scales, from long-range attraction and repulsion from the troop's sleeping site, to relatively local influences including road-following and a short-range avoidance of dense vegetation. Scaling to the collective level reveals a clear association between habitat features and the emergent structure of the group, highlighting the importance of habitat heterogeneity in shaping group coordination.

KEYWORDS:

baboons (Papio anubis); collective movement; ecology; habitat; movement Ecology; social behavior

PMID:
28139196
PMCID:
PMC5283833
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.19505
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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