We investigated the phenomenon of activity cycles in ants, taking into account the spatial structure of colonies. In our study species, Leptothorax acervorum, there are two spatially segregated groups in the nest. We developed a model that considers the two groups as coupled oscillators which can produce synchronized activity. By investigating the effects of noise on the model system we predicted how the return of foragers affects activity cycles in ant colonies. We tested these predictions empirically by comparing the activity of colonies under two conditions: when foragers are and are not allowed to return to the nest. The activity of the whole colony and of each group within the colony was studied using image analysis. This allowed us to reveal the spatial pattern of activity wave propagation in ant colonies for the first time.

Coupled Oscillatores and Acticity Waves in Ant Colonies

DEL BUONO, Nicoletta;
1999

Abstract

We investigated the phenomenon of activity cycles in ants, taking into account the spatial structure of colonies. In our study species, Leptothorax acervorum, there are two spatially segregated groups in the nest. We developed a model that considers the two groups as coupled oscillators which can produce synchronized activity. By investigating the effects of noise on the model system we predicted how the return of foragers affects activity cycles in ant colonies. We tested these predictions empirically by comparing the activity of colonies under two conditions: when foragers are and are not allowed to return to the nest. The activity of the whole colony and of each group within the colony was studied using image analysis. This allowed us to reveal the spatial pattern of activity wave propagation in ant colonies for the first time.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/43030
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