Schooling in habitats with aggregative sites: the case of tropical tuna and floating objects

Many marine and terrestrial species live in groups, whose sizes and dynamics can vary depending on the type and strength of their social interactions. Typical examples of such groups in vertebrates are schools of fish or flocks of bird. Natural habitats can encompass a wide range of spatial heterogeneities, which can also shape the structure of animal groups, depending on the interplay between the attraction/repulsion of environmental cues and social interactions. A key issue in modern applied ecology and conservation is the need to understand the relationship between these ethological and ecological scales in order to account for the social behaviour of animals in their natural environments. Here, we introduce a modeling approach which studies animal groups within heterogeneous habitats constituted by a set of aggregative sites. The model properties are investigated considering the case study of tropical tuna schools and their associative behavior with floating objects, a question of global concern, given the thousands of floating objects deployed by industrial tropical tuna fisheries worldwide. The effects of increasing numbers of aggregative sites (floating objects) on tuna schools are studied. This study offers a general modeling framework to study social species in their habitats, accounting for both ethological and ecological drivers of animal group dynamics.


Animal groups, Heterogeneous habitats, Aggregations, Associative behavior, Schooling, Tropical tuna

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How to cite
Capello Manuela, Rault Jonathan, Deneubourg Jean-Louis, Dagorn Laurent (2022). Schooling in habitats with aggregative sites: the case of tropical tuna and floating objects. Journal Of Theoretical Biology. 547. 111163 (11p.).,

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