DesplandSimpson2006

Reference

Despland, E. and Simpson, S.J. (2006) Resource distribution mediates synchronization of physiological rhythms in locust groups. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 273:1517-1522.

Abstract

Synchronized behaviour is common in animal groups. In ant colonies, synchronization occurs because active ants stimulate their neighbours to activity.We use oscillator theory to explain how stimulation from active neighbours synchronizes activity in groups of solitarious locusts via entrainment of internal physiological rhythms. We also show that the spatial distribution of food resources controls coupling between individual locusts and the emergence of synchronized activity. In locusts (Schistocerca gregaria), individual schedules of activity and quiescence arise from an irregular physiological oscillation in feeding excitation (i.e. hunger). We show that contact with an active neighbour increases the probability that a locust becomes active. This entrained activity decreases the time until the locust feeds, shifting the phase of its hunger oscillation. The locusts’ internal physiological rhythms are thus brought into alignment and their activity becomes synchronized. When food resources are clumped, contact with active locusts increases, and this increase in the strength of coupling between individuals leads to greater synchronization of behaviour. Activity synchronization might have functional significance in inhibiting swarming when resources are dispersed and accelerating it in more favourable clumped environments.

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@ARTICLE { DesplandSimpson2006,
    AUTHOR = { Despland, E. and Simpson, S.J. },
    TITLE = { Resource distribution mediates synchronization of physiological rhythms in locust groups },
    JOURNAL = { Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences },
    YEAR = { 2006 },
    VOLUME = { 273 },
    PAGES = { 1517-1522 },
    ABSTRACT = { Synchronized behaviour is common in animal groups. In ant colonies, synchronization occurs because active ants stimulate their neighbours to activity.We use oscillator theory to explain how stimulation from active neighbours synchronizes activity in groups of solitarious locusts via entrainment of internal physiological rhythms. We also show that the spatial distribution of food resources controls coupling between individual locusts and the emergence of synchronized activity. In locusts (Schistocerca gregaria), individual schedules of activity and quiescence arise from an irregular physiological oscillation in feeding excitation (i.e. hunger). We show that contact with an active neighbour increases the probability that a locust becomes active. This entrained activity decreases the time until the locust feeds, shifting the phase of its hunger oscillation. The locusts’ internal physiological rhythms are thus brought into alignment and their activity becomes synchronized. When food resources are clumped, contact with active locusts increases, and this increase in the strength of coupling between individuals leads to greater synchronization of behaviour. Activity synchronization might have functional significance in inhibiting swarming when resources are dispersed and accelerating it in more favourable clumped environments. },
    OWNER = { racinep },
    TIMESTAMP = { 2007.09.07 },
}

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