Ant Encounters: Interaction Networks and Colony Behavior by Deborah M. Gordon | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Ant Encounters: Interaction Networks and Colony Behavior

Ant Encounters: Interaction Networks and Colony Behavior

by Deborah M. Gordon
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691138796

ISBN-13: 9780691138794

Pub. Date: 04/21/2010

Publisher: Princeton University Press

How do ant colonies get anything done, when no one is in charge? An ant colony operates without a central control or hierarchy, and no ant directs another. Instead, ants decide what to do based on the rate, rhythm, and pattern of individual encounters and interactions—resulting in a dynamic network that coordinates the functions of the colony. Ant

Overview

How do ant colonies get anything done, when no one is in charge? An ant colony operates without a central control or hierarchy, and no ant directs another. Instead, ants decide what to do based on the rate, rhythm, and pattern of individual encounters and interactions—resulting in a dynamic network that coordinates the functions of the colony. Ant Encounters provides a revealing and accessible look into ant behavior from this complex systems perspective.

Focusing on the moment-to-moment behavior of ant colonies, Deborah Gordon investigates the role of interaction networks in regulating colony behavior and relations among ant colonies. She shows how ant behavior within and between colonies arises from local interactions of individuals, and how interaction networks develop as a colony grows older and larger. The more rapidly ants react to their encounters, the more sensitively the entire colony responds to changing conditions. Gordon explores whether such reactive networks help a colony to survive and reproduce, how natural selection shapes colony networks, and how these structures compare to other analogous complex systems.

Ant Encounters sheds light on the organizational behavior, ecology, and evolution of these diverse and ubiquitous social insects.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691138794
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/21/2010
Series:
Primers in Complex Systems Series
Pages:
184
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Preface xi

1 The Ant Colony as a Complex System 1

2 Colony Organization 14

The Diversity of Ant Behavior 14

From Individual to Collective Behavior 19

Division of Labor 25

Ants Switch Tasks 30

Age Polyethism 33

What Ants Respond To 37

Task Allocation 41

3 Interaction Networks 45

What Happens at Network Nodes 47

The Pattern of Interaction Is the Message 49

Rate and Memory 57

Individual Variation 63

Species Differences 67

4 Colony Size 75

Colony Growth 75

Task Allocation and Colony Size 83

Ecology, Behavior, and Mature Colony Size 90

5 Relations with Neighbors 96

Relations with Neighbors of the Same Species 97

Interactions between Species 107

Invasive Species 112

From Ecology to Behavior 117

6 Ant Evolution 121

Coevolution of Ants and Plants 121

Evolution of Colony Organization 125

Natural Selection in Action 131

7 Modeling Ant Behavior 141

Notes 147

Index 165

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