Monday, December 10, 2007 - 10:29 AM

Self-organizing conflicts: Modeling the spatio-temporal dynamics of territorial battles of the pavement ant Tetramorium caespitum

Nicola Plowes,, University of Connecticut, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 75 N. Eagleview Road, Storrs, CT

My work aims to understand how territorial conflicts and use of space in ants arises from individual behavior, including communication, assessment and aggressive interactions. /Tetramorium caespitum/ is a common invasive ant in New England that stages large battles at territorial boundaries each spring. In addition to studying the behavioral mechanisms behind /T. caespitum/ battles and how these mechanisms relate to colony level responses, I have developed a numerical model describing the dynamics of two self-organizing groups of individuals in conflict. This generalized model of self-organizing conflict is of interest to a broad range of disciplines.

Species 1: Hymenoptera Formicidae Tetramorium caespitum (pavement ant)