Evol Ecol Res 5: 297-303 (2003) Full PDF if your library subscribes.
Allometric scaling of ant foraging trail networks
Joseph Jun,1,2 John W. Pepper,1 Van M. Savage,1,3* James F. Gillooly4 and James H. Brown1,4
1Santa Fe Institute, 1399 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501, 2Center for Complex Systems Research, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1110 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801, 3Theoretical Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545 and 4Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
The aggregation of individuals into colonies raises important questions about scaling of structure and function. We model the metabolic benefits and costs of two-dimensional, fractal-like foraging trails, such as those used by ant colonies. Total area foraged by the colony and, consequently, resource flow to the nest and rate of colony metabolism, increase non-linearly with number of foragers (F) as F 2/3. Since the cost of foraging increases linearly with F, the model predicts an optimal number of foragers and, therefore, total foraging area that maximize colony fitness or energy allocation to reproduction. The scaling of foraging may influence evolution of coloniality.
Keywords: allometry, coloniality, foraging, optimal networks, social insects.
DOWNLOAD A FREE, FULL PDF COPY
IF you are connected using the IP of a subscribing institution (library, laboratory, etc.)
or through its VPN.
© 2003 Van Savage. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.
Subscribing institutions/libraries may grant individuals the privilege of making a single copy of an EER article for non-commercial educational or non-commercial research purposes. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also use articles for non-commercial educational purposes by making any number of copies for course packs or course reserve collections. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also loan single copies of articles to non-commercial libraries for educational purposes.
All copies of abstracts and articles must preserve their copyright notice without modification.