Modelling the effects of colony age on the foraging behaviour of harvester ants

Tom Diethe*, Peter Bentley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

Abstract

The colonies of certain species of ants, for example Pogonomyrmex barbatus, exhibit changes in behaviour as the colonies grow older, despite nearly all of the individual ants being replaced each year [1]. The behaviour of older colonies is more stable, and they are more likely to avoid intraspecific conflict [2]. Gordon hypothesised that the reason for this is that a 3-4 year old colony is in the steepest part of its growth curve, i.e. the 4000 workers of the 3 year-old colony are feeding 6000 larvae, and that the aggression of individual ants is based on colony level food requirements. This study aims to model this phenomenon using an individual-based simulation. The results from model are compared with field experiments taken over a period of years at the study site in New Mexico [3,4]. The model provides support to the biological hypothesis by showing that both colony age and aggression of individual ants have significant effects on foraging ranges.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Artificial Life, Proceedings
EditorsFAE Costa, LM Rocha, E Costa, Harvey, A Coutinho
Place of PublicationBERLIN
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Pages706-715
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-3-540-74912-7
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event9th European Conference on Artificial Life - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 10 Sep 200714 Sep 2007

Publication series

NameLECTURE NOTES IN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
PublisherSPRINGER-VERLAG BERLIN
Volume4648
ISSN (Print)0302-9743

Conference

Conference9th European Conference on Artificial Life
CountryPortugal
Period10/09/0714/09/07

Keywords

  • POGONOMYRMEX
  • RANGE

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