The role of individual heterogeneity in collective animal behaviour

Jolles, J. W., King, A. J. and Killen, S. S. (2020) The role of individual heterogeneity in collective animal behaviour. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 35(3), pp. 278-291. (doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2019.11.001) (PMID:31879039)

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Social grouping is omnipresent in the animal kingdom. Considerable research has focused on understanding how animal groups form and function, including how collective behaviour emerges via self-organising mechanisms and how phenotypic variation drives the behaviour and functioning of animal groups. However, we still lack a mechanistic understanding of the role of phenotypic variation in collective animal behaviour. Here we present a common framework to quantify individual heterogeneity and synthesise the literature to systematically explain and predict its role in collective behaviour across species, contexts, and traits. We show that individual heterogeneity provides a key intermediary mechanism with broad consequences for sociality (e.g., group structure, functioning), ecology (e.g., response to environmental change), and evolution. We also outline a roadmap for future research.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:J.W.J. was supported by an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Zukunftskolleg Postdoctoral Fellowship. S.S.K was supported by a NERC Advanced Fellowship NE/J019100/1 and a European Research Council Starting Grant 640004.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Killen, Professor Shaun
Authors: Jolles, J. W., King, A. J., and Killen, S. S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Trends in Ecology and Evolution
Publisher:Elsevier (Cell Press)
ISSN (Online):1872-8383
Published Online:24 December 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution 35(3): 278-291
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
167015The Influence of Individual Physiology on Group Behaviour in Fish SchoolsShaun KillenNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/J019100/1Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine