Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Regulation of task partitioning by a "common stomach": a model of nest construction in social wasps

Contents:

Author Info

  • I. Karsai
  • T. Schmickl
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Metapolybia wasps construct their nests on flat surfaces using plant materials, which they process into paper. For processing the pulp wasps need water, which is collected by water foragers, and it is transferred to pulp foragers indirectly via a "common stomach." The common stomach is formed by generalist wasps that can engage in water exchange and can store water in their crops. Our goal is to provide an alternative model for regulating task partitioning in construction behavior, focusing on worker connectivity instead of using threshold curves to model mechanisms of colony-level regulation. We propose that the existence of an information center and of a network of worker interactions, which establish sets of positive and negative feedbacks, allow collective regulation of colony-wide behaviors. Using a Stock and Flow modeling framework, we illustrate that the common stomach could serve both as a temporal storage for water and also as a source of information about the colony's current demands related to nest construction tasks. Our model predicts that assessing colony needs via individual interactions with the common stomach leads to a robust regulation of task partitioning in construction behavior. Using perturbation experiments in our simulations, we show that this emergent task allocation is able to dynamically adapt to perturbations of the environment and to changes in colony-level demands or population structure. Our model closely mimics and predicts the behavior of Metapolybia wasps, demonstrating that the regulation mechanism based on worker connectivity through a common stomach is a plausible hypothesis for the organization of collective behavior. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

    Download Info

    If 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.
    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/beheco/arr060
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    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 Info

    Article provided by International Society for Behavioral Ecology in its journal Behavioral Ecology.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 819-830

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:4:p:819-830

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
    Fax: 01865 267 985
    Email:
    Web page: http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/

    Order Information:
    Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals

    Related research

    Keywords:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:4:p:819-830. See general 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 you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.