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Synergy in social communication
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics.
2008 (English)In: Sociobiology of communication: an interdisciplinary perspective / [ed] Patrizia d'Ettorre and David P. Hughes, Oxford: Oxford University Press , 2008Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Synergy is where the interactions of a group of individuals becomes more than the sum of their parts. In this chapter we review how, through the use of social communication, foraging animals can increase their rate of finding food. We discuss how mechanisms such as pheromone trails, dancing, and other signals act to increase group, and thus individual, success. We also discuss how social dilemmas can arise where costly signalling can be exploited by non-signallers. We show that under a range of conditions, specifically when group success increases more than linearly with group size, cooperative signalling can evolve without kin selection or reciprocity. This study serves to emphasise the importance in linking mechanism with function when studying collective behaviour of animals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Oxford University Press , 2008.
, Oxford biology
Keyword [en]
collective behaviour, self-organisation, group foraging, pheromone trails, dancing
National Category
Natural Sciences Other Mathematics
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-50110DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216840.003.0011OAI: diva2:459614
e-book online.Available from: 2011-11-27 Created: 2011-11-27 Last updated: 2011-11-28Bibliographically approved

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Brännström, Åke
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Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics
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