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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2018 May 19;373(1746). pii: 20170008. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2017.0008.

The importance of individual variation in the dynamics of animal collective movements.

Author information

1
Research Unit of Biodiversity (UMIB, UO-CSIC-PA), Oviedo University, Campus Mieres, 33600 Mieres, Spain delgado.mmar@gmail.com.
2
Research Unit of Biodiversity (UMIB, UO-CSIC-PA), Oviedo University, Campus Mieres, 33600 Mieres, Spain.
3
Department of Biology, University of Maryland, 1210 Biology-Psychology Building, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
4
Wildlife Conservation Society, Carrera 7 No. 82-66, Bogota, Colombia.
5
Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (IPE), CSIC, Avda. Montañana 1005, 50059, Zaragoza, Spain.
6
Ecotono, INIBIOMA-CONICET, Universidad Nacional del Camahue, Quintral 1250, Bariloche 8400, Argentina.

Abstract

Animal collective movements are a key example of a system that links two clearly defined levels of organization: the individual and the group. Most models investigating collective movements have generated coherent collective behaviours without the inclusion of individual variability. However, new individual-based models, together with emerging empirical information, emphasize that within-group heterogeneity may strongly influence collective movement behaviour. Here we (i) review the empirical evidence for individual variation in animal collective movements, (ii) explore how theoretical investigations have represented individual heterogeneity when modelling collective movements and (iii) present a model to show how within-group heterogeneity influences the collective properties of a group. Our review underscores the need to consider variability at the level of the individual to improve our understanding of how individual decision rules lead to emergent movement patterns, and also to yield better quantitative predictions of collective behaviour.This article is part of the theme issue 'Collective movement ecology'.

KEYWORDS:

Lagrangian models; aggregation; behavioural rules; collective motion; context-dependent factors

PMID:
29581393
PMCID:
PMC5882978
DOI:
10.1098/rstb.2017.0008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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