Scale-free movement patterns in termites emerge from social interactions and preferential attachments

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Paiva, L. R., Marins, A., Cristaldo, P. F., Ribeiro, D., Alves, S. G., Reynolds, A. M., DeSouza, O. and Miramontes, O. 2021. Scale-free movement patterns in termites emerge from social interactions and preferential attachments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America - PNAS. 118 (20), p. e2004369118. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2004369118

AuthorsPaiva, L. R., Marins, A., Cristaldo, P. F., Ribeiro, D., Alves, S. G., Reynolds, A. M., DeSouza, O. and Miramontes, O.
Abstract

As the number or density of interacting individuals in a social group increases, a transition can develop from uncorrelated and disordered behaviour of the individuals to a collective coherent pattern. We expand this observation by exploring the fine details of termite movement patterns to demonstrate that the value of the scaling exponent µ of a power-law describing the Lévy walk of an individual is modified collectively as the density of animals in the group changes. This effect is absent when termites interact with inert obstacles. We also show that the network of encounters and interactions among specific individuals is selective resembling a preferential attachment mechanism which is important for social networking. TeOur data suggest strongly that preferential attachments, a phenomenon not reported previously, and favourite interactions with a limited number of acquaintances are responsible for the generation of Lévy movement patterns in these social insects.

KeywordsTermites; Collective Behaviours; Levy walks; Social insects; Preferential Attachments; Social Networks
Year of Publication2021
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America - PNAS
Journal citation118 (20), p. e2004369118
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2004369118
Open accessPublished as green open access
FunderBBSRC Industrial Strategy Challenge
Funder project or codeBBSRC Strategic Programme in Smart Crop Protection
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online18 May 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted18 Feb 2021
PublisherNational Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
ISSN0027-8424

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