Spatial positioning in the selfish herd
AbstractThe antipredator benefits of grouping are relatively well understood; however, predation risk often differs for individuals that occupy different positions within a group. The selfish herd hypothesis describes how individuals can reduce risk of predation by moving to specific positions within the group. In existing theory, this movement occurs through the adoption of possible "movement rules" that differ in their cognitive complexity. Here, we investigate the effectiveness of different previously suggested rules in reducing risk for central and peripheral individuals within a group. We demonstrate that initial spatial position is important in determining the success of different risk-reducing movement rules, as initially centrally positioned individuals are likely to be more successful than peripheral ones at reducing their risk relative to other group members, regardless of the movement rules used. Simpler strategies are effective in low-density populations; but at high density, more complex rules are more effective. We also find that complex rules that consider the position of multiple neighbors are the only rules that successfully allow individuals to move from peripheral to central positions or maintain central positions, thus avoiding predators that attack from outside the group. Our results suggest that the attack strategy of a predator should be critically important in determining prey escape strategies in a selfish herd context and that prey should modify their behavioral responses to impending attack in response to their position within a group. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by International Society for Behavioral Ecology in its journal Behavioral Ecology.
Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.