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Introduction
Contents:
  1. Social transmission of avoidance among predators facilitates the spread of novel prey
  2. Social Media is a Jungle: Are you a Predator or Prey?
  3. See a Problem?
  4. From colony to first patch: Processes of prey searching and social information in Cape Gannets

Social transmission of avoidance among predators facilitates the spread of novel prey

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Sign In or Create an Account. Sign In. Advanced Search. Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Volume Behavioral responses vary with prey species in the social spider, Stegodyphus sarasinorum Bharat Parthasarathy. Oxford Academic. Google Scholar. Hema Somanathan. Address correspondence to H. E-mail: hsomanathan iisertvm.

Article history. Revision Received:. Cite Citation. Permissions Icon Permissions. Abstract Predators living in social groups often show consistent interindividual differences in prey capture behavior that may be linked to personality. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals. Issue Section:. You do not currently have access to this article.

Download all figures. Sign in. You could not be signed in. Sign In Forgot password? Don't have an account? Sign in via your Institution Sign in. Familiar females left the origin leaf, i. Consequently, the number of predator females decreased on the origin leaf and increased on the external leaves more strongly over time in groups of familiar than unfamiliar females. Linked to a possible genetic pre-determination, dispersal is extensively modulated by environmental factors [51]. The differing patch exploitation and dispersal strategies of familiar and unfamiliar mites are also reflected in the inverse relation of dispersing familiar more than unfamiliar and dying unfamiliar more than familiar individuals.

In experiment 2, familiar females left fewer offspring but more prey per offspring on the origin leaf, which should be advantageous for offspring development on this leaf [51] , [62]. An alternative or additional explanation for earlier dispersal by familiar predators in both experiments may be increased boldness.

Boldness, the willingness to accept a higher degree of risk in return for potentially higher foraging or reproductive gains, has been found to correlate with familiar environments [43]. Social familiarity increased boldness in guppies [44] and chicks [42] , where socially familiar individuals were more exploratory in foraging. In line with these findings, we suggest that in our experiments familiar predators were more prone to explore the surroundings, and thus left the release sites earlier than unfamiliar predators did.

In both experiments, social familiarity had a significant influence on spider mite exploitation and prey intake rates. Social familiarity increasing food intake rates has been similarly reported for other animals. For example, red-backed salamanders, Plethodon cinereus , had a lower foraging rate in the presence of unfamiliar conspecifics due to spending more time avoiding or interacting with these more aggressive individuals [63]. Likewise, social familiarity led to decreased aggression and higher food intake rates in sea trout, Salmo trutta [35].

Interestingly, under ample prey supply, social familiarity had a different influence on P. It thus seems that the influence of social familiarity on prey intake changes with the possibility to choose between and move to other patches. Proximately, the higher food intake rates of familiar predators are tightly linked to optimized dispersal from the origin patch and inter-patch distribution. Social familiarity led to a better coordination among group members in these inter-related behaviors.

With patchily distributed prey, predators are constantly faced with decisions to stay or leave a given patch [64]. Individuals of familiar groups tending to early leave the origin patch with decreasing quality and colonize other resource-rich patches, could thus be interpreted to be more ideally and freely distributed than individuals of unfamiliar groups [8] , [65].

Social Media is a Jungle: Are you a Predator or Prey?

In addition to relaxing prey competition due to earlier dispersal and more favorable inter-patch distribution, social familiarity seems to have shifted the type of competition from contest to scramble [66] , [67]. In scramble competition, all competitors obtain about the same share of the resources, whereas in contest competition the resources are unequally partitioned among the competitors.


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For example, Utne-Palm and Hart [41] assessed the effects of familiarity on competitive interactions in sticklebacks. Familiarity decreased the aggressive behaviors leading to lower intraspecific competition and a more balanced food distribution among familiar individuals. We did not particularly assess competition but this may in a similar way apply to our experiments. Unfamiliar predators were less dispersed among patches and exploited them more slowly. Being less dispersed likely intensified exploitation competition and interference in the origin patch and in this way retarded depletion of the prey available on the whole experimental unit by unfamiliar P.

This conclusion is further supported by the higher mortality rates of unfamiliar groups. In contrast, familiar predatory mites dispersed earlier and resource food and space exploitation took place in a more balanced way. Thus, on the whole experimental unit, familiar juveniles behaved more scramble competitor-like than unfamiliar juveniles did. Under the assumption that premature leaving from a relatively safe site and group initially bears more costs than benefits, such a behavior may be selected for in group-living animals and be adaptively advantageous if the initial costs are later more than compensated for by other group members, i.

Premature dispersal could then be considered a form of cooperation independent of genetic relatedness.

For example, sticklebacks preferred to join individuals that had been cooperative in the past [37]. Individual recognition is a prerequisite for reciprocity between unrelated individuals and this prerequisite is met in P. Individuals are able to recognize conspecific individuals, which they previously encountered early in life, and treat those familiar individuals, independent of genetic relatedness, more favorably Strodl and Schausberger, unpublished data and [56].

While the early leavers would pay the costs of premature leaving, the ones that stay would benefit from decreased within-patch competition. The costs can be repaid at a later date when the early leavers and those that stayed in the origin patch meet again in a different patch and the later arrivals take their turns at costly early leaving from this new patch.

The knowledge gained in our study could be used to optimize the use of P. For example, a common procedure in cultures of the European catfish, Silurus glanis, is fish grading, i. Grouping familiar fish resulted in reduced conspecific aggression and enhanced energy usage, growth and survival [69].

See a Problem?

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. PLoS One. Published online Aug Gernot J. Zach , Stefan Peneder , Markus A. Markus A. Sean A.


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  • Rands, Editor. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. Received Apr 27; Accepted Jul This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are properly credited. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Background In group-living animals, social interactions and their effects on other life activities such as foraging are commonly determined by discrimination among group members.

    Introduction Developing explicit foraging strategies for optimal resource exploitation is a major challenge for every animal. Materials and Methods Origin and Rearing of Experimental Animals The individuals used for the experiments were offspring from females withdrawn from a laboratory-reared population of P. Patch-exploitation and -leaving by Juvenile P.

    Patch-exploitation and -leaving by Gravid P. Open in a separate window. Figure 1. The effects of social familiarity on dispersal of juvenile predatory mites. Table 1 Results of generalized estimating equations GEE; autocorrelation structure between observation points for the effects of familiarity and time nested within familiarity on the number of dispersed juvenile predators i. Figure 2. The effects of social familiarity on dispersion of juvenile predatory mites. Figure 3. The effects of social familiarity on activity of juvenile predatory mites. Figure 4. The effects of social familiarity on prey exploitation by juvenile predatory mites.

    Figure 5. The effects of social familiarity on presence and leaf occupation by predatory mite females. Table 2 Results of generalized estimating equations GEE; autocorrelation structure between observation points for the effects of familiarity, leaf origin or external; only for dispersion and time nested within familiarity only for females present, leaves occupied and dispersion by females on the number of P. Figure 6. The effects of social familiarity on dispersion of predatory mite females.

    Figure 7. The effects of social familiarity on dispersion of offspring of predatory mite females. Discussion Social familiarity had a decisive impact on spider mite patch exploitation, dispersal and inter-patch distribution of juvenile and adult predatory mites, P. Exploratory Behavior and Dispersal In experiment 1, all unfamiliar individuals stayed in the release prey patch until molting to the deutonymphal stage, whereas most familiar individuals reached the deutonymphal stage in the patches on the outer leaves, indicating earlier dispersal by familiar juveniles.

    Inter-patch Dispersion, Prey Exploitation and Competition In both experiments, social familiarity had a significant influence on spider mite exploitation and prey intake rates. Group-living and Exploitation Competition In addition to relaxing prey competition due to earlier dispersal and more favorable inter-patch distribution, social familiarity seems to have shifted the type of competition from contest to scramble [66] , [67].

    Group-living, Dispersal and Reciprocity Under the assumption that premature leaving from a relatively safe site and group initially bears more costs than benefits, such a behavior may be selected for in group-living animals and be adaptively advantageous if the initial costs are later more than compensated for by other group members, i. Implications to Biological Control The knowledge gained in our study could be used to optimize the use of P.

    The most social bird of prey

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    From colony to first patch: Processes of prey searching and social information in Cape Gannets

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