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Local interactions and global properties of wild, free-ranging stickleback shoals

Sumpter, David J.T.; Ward, Ashley J. W.; Schaerf, Timothy M.; Herbert-Read, James; Herbert-Read, James E.; Morrell, Lesley; Schaerf, Timothy Martin; Sumpter, David J. T.; Ward, Ashley; Webster, Mike M.

Authors

David J.T. Sumpter

Ashley J. W. Ward

Timothy M. Schaerf

James Herbert-Read

James E. Herbert-Read

Timothy Martin Schaerf

David J. T. Sumpter

Ashley Ward

Mike M. Webster

Abstract

Collective motion describes the global properties of moving groups of animals and the self-organized, coordinated patterns of individual behaviour that produce them. We examined the group-level patterns and local interactions between individuals in wild, free-ranging shoals of three-spine sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus. Our data reveal that the highest frequencies of near-neighbour encounters occur at between one and two body lengths from a focal fish, with the peak frequency alongside a focal individual. Fish also show the highest alignment with these laterally placed individuals, and generally with animals in front of themselves. Furthermore, fish are more closely matched in size, speed and orientation to their near neighbours than to more distant neighbours, indicating local organization within groups. Among the group level properties reported here, we find that polarization is strongly influenced by group speed, but also the variation in speed among individuals and the nearest neighbour distances of group members. While we find no relationship between group order and group size, we do find that larger groups tend to have lower nearest neighbour distances, which in turn may be important in maintaining group order.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jul 12, 2017
Journal Royal Society open science
Electronic ISSN 2054-5703
Publisher Royal Society, The
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 7
Article Number ARTN 170043
Pages 170043
Institution Citation Ward, A. J. W., Schaerf, T. M., Herbert-Read, J. E., Morrell, L., Sumpter, D. J. T., & Webster, M. M. (2017). Local interactions and global properties of wild, free-ranging stickleback shoals. Royal Society Open Science, 4(7), 170043. doi:10.1098/rsos.170043
DOI https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.170043
Keywords Collective behaviour, Schooling, Grouping
Publisher URL http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/4/7/170043
Copyright Statement © 2017 The Authors.
Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Additional Information This is a copy of an open access article published in Royal Society open science, 2017, v.4.

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Copyright Statement
© 2017 The Authors.
Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.



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