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A proactive-reactive syndrome affects group success in an ant species

AutorBlight, Olivier; Albet Díaz-Mariblanca, Gisela; Cerdá, Xim ; Boulay, Raphaël
Palabras claveA. senilis
Trade off
Proactive-reactive behavioral syndrome
Intraspecific competition
Colony personality
Fecha de publicación2016
EditorOxford University Press
CitaciónBehavioral Ecology 27: 118- 125 (2016)
ResumenSocial insects have been particularly evolutionarily successful: they dominate terrestrial ecosystems all over the globe. Their success stems from their social organization, where one or a few individuals reproduce, whereas others carry out different colony tasks. From an evolutionary standpoint, social species are particularly interesting because natural selection acts at both the individual and colony levels. Therefore, we might expect to see selection acting simultaneously on personality at the individual level and colony level. In this study, we tested whether captive colonies of the ant Aphaenogaster senilis exhibited different behavioral types and evaluated their consequences for intraspecific competition. Our results demonstrate that colonies of the same age exposed to standardized laboratory conditions did indeed have different personalities. In addition, we found that A. senilis demonstrated a behavioral syndrome that included proactive and reactive behaviors: colonies varied in their approaches to exploration, risk taking, food retrieval, and conspecific interactions. This syndrome appears to be associated with a trade-off between competition for food resources and temperature-related foraging risks. >Bold> colonies contained individuals who more readily explored novel environments, exhibited aggressive behaviors, and demonstrated higher food-retrieval efficiency during intraspecific competition trials. However, such colonies were also more risk prone: workers suffered higher mortality rates because they more frequently foraged over their critical thermal maximum. The trade-off we observed under laboratory conditions might be key in maintaining colony-level personality, thus driving local-level adaptations in collective behavior.
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1093/beheco/arv127
issn: 1465-7279
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