Synchronization of the behaviour within nests of the ant Leptothorax acervorum (Fabricius)-II. Modelling the phenomenon and predictions from the model

Lia Hemerik, N. R. Franks, Nicholas Britton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Observations on activity of ants of the species Leptothorax acervorum show that ants within the nest are inactive for about 72% of their time (Franks et al., 1990. Bull. math. Biol., 52, 597-612). By examination of the activity of individual ants it is demonstrated that activity bouts of individuals are highly synchronized. The bursts of activity detected by Franks et al. occurred three to four times per hour. In this paper we develop a model to describe the phenomenon. As a result of the interdependence of the number of active ants within the nest and the high level of community activity some predictions are made, which are supported by experimental data in a quantitative way. In case of starvation the number of active ants will increase and no rhythms should occur. When proportionally more brood is present the rhythms should occur with a higher frequency. Eventually the rhythm breaks down and a stable equilibrium is reached.

LanguageEnglish
Pages613-628
Number of pages16
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Volume52
Issue number5
DOIs
StatusPublished - Sep 1990

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Leptothorax acervorum
ant nests
Ants
Nest
ant
nest
Synchronization
Formicidae
prediction
Prediction
Modeling
modeling
nests
Model
Starvation
Burst
starvation
Breakdown
bulls
Experimental Data

Cite this

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title = "Synchronization of the behaviour within nests of the ant Leptothorax acervorum (Fabricius)-II. Modelling the phenomenon and predictions from the model",
abstract = "Observations on activity of ants of the species Leptothorax acervorum show that ants within the nest are inactive for about 72{\%} of their time (Franks et al., 1990. Bull. math. Biol., 52, 597-612). By examination of the activity of individual ants it is demonstrated that activity bouts of individuals are highly synchronized. The bursts of activity detected by Franks et al. occurred three to four times per hour. In this paper we develop a model to describe the phenomenon. As a result of the interdependence of the number of active ants within the nest and the high level of community activity some predictions are made, which are supported by experimental data in a quantitative way. In case of starvation the number of active ants will increase and no rhythms should occur. When proportionally more brood is present the rhythms should occur with a higher frequency. Eventually the rhythm breaks down and a stable equilibrium is reached.",
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T1 - Synchronization of the behaviour within nests of the ant Leptothorax acervorum (Fabricius)-II. Modelling the phenomenon and predictions from the model

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AU - Britton, Nicholas

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