Collective behaviour emergence: computer simulation
Colloniality is a group living form adopted by many animal species. Many animals use colonies as information centers for efficient foraging. The selection of the colony sites is a collective-decision process poorly understood, as it is difficult to directly observe concensus decisions among animals.
We use individual-based models, simulating individual behaviors of herons and egrets, to analyze the overall consequences of these behaviors to the emergence of coloniality. Within the framework of the self-organized criticallity, we modelize the individual patch selection for foraging and the gathering process of herons and egrets for foraring and breeding and analyze the influence of the landscape carachteristics on the colony site selection process.
We want to clarify evolutionary aspects of colonial living, as well as to study how landscape features can affect the foraging behaviours and in what ways this affects how colonial animals choose their colony sites.