PetersDespland2006

Reference

Peters, M.I. and Despland, E. (2006) Plasticity in forest tent caterpillar collective foraging schedules. Ethology, 112(6):521-528.

Abstract

Self-organization can generate synchronized group activity without external triggering cues, and schedules of self-organized collective activity can vary with environmental conditions. This plasticity can improve group members' ability to meet their requirements in different environments. In colonial caterpillars, synchronized colony foraging schedules have been postulated to depend either on avoidance of visual predators or on temperature effects on ectotherm physiology. We examine the foraging schedule of forest tent caterpillars (Malacosoma disstria) under different constant conditions to distinguish between these hypotheses. Plasticity in the foraging schedule was tested by keeping colonies under different constant regimes of light and temperature. Digital video and tracking software were used to record the colony's alternation between quiescent and active bouts. The duration and frequency of bouts was compared between treatments. The schedule of synchronized colony activity was not affected by lighting, but it accelerated at higher temperature, because of a decrease in the duration of both active and quiescent bouts. Forest tent caterpillars' foraging schedule thus depends on the time required to accomplish the tasks of food finding (active bouts) and food processing (quiescent bouts). As caterpillars are ectotherms, locomotion and digestion rates increase at higher temperature and both tasks are accomplished faster. The forest tent caterpillar and the congeneric eastern tent caterpillar (M. americanum) both exhibit self-organized synchronized collective foraging, but environmental modulation of foraging schedule differs between these species, according to differences in social organization and thermal ecology. Eastern tent caterpillars maintain a fixed foraging schedule under varying temperatures and use the tent to maintain high metabolic rates. In the forest tent caterpillar, flexibility of the foraging schedule in accordance with changes in metabolism lessens the constraints imposed by collective foraging. Synchronous foraging, where entire social groups travel together to and from feeding sites, is thought to have several fitness advantages including improved food finding, recruitment to profitable food sources, anti-predator defense and group thermoregulation between foraging expeditions. © 2006 Blackwell Verlag.

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@ARTICLE { PetersDespland2006,
    AUTHOR = { Peters, M.I. and Despland, E. },
    TITLE = { Plasticity in forest tent caterpillar collective foraging schedules },
    JOURNAL = { Ethology },
    YEAR = { 2006 },
    VOLUME = { 112 },
    PAGES = { 521-528 },
    NUMBER = { 6 },
    NOTE = { 01791613 (ISSN) Cited By (since 1996): 2 Export Date: 27 April 2007 Source: Scopus CODEN: ETHOE doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0310.2005.01197.x Language of Original Document: English Correspondence Address: Despland, E.7141 Sherbrooke W Montreal, Que. H4B 1R6, Canada; email: despland@alcor.concordia.ca References: Addy, N.D., Rearing the forest tent caterpillar on an artificial diet (1969) J. Econ. Entomol., 62, pp. 270-271; Camazine, S., Deneubourg, J.L., Franks, N.R., Sneyd, J., Theraulaz, G., Bonabeau, E., (2001) Self-Organization in Biological Systems, , Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, NJ; Casey, T.M., Joos, B., Fitzgerald, T.D., Yurlina, M.E., Young, P.A., Synchronized group foraging, thermoregulation, and growth of eastern tent caterpillars in relation to microclimate (1988) Physiol. Zool., 61, pp. 372-377; Colasurdo, N., Despland, E., Social cues and following behavior in the forest tent caterpillar (2005) J. Insect Behav., 18, pp. 77-87; Cole, B.J., Short-term activity cycles in ants: A phase response curve and phase resetting in worker activity (1991) J. Insect Behav., 4, pp. 129-137; Despland, E., Hamzeh, S., Ontogenetic changes in social behaviour in the forest tent caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria (2004) Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 56, pp. 177-184; Fitzgerald, T.D., An analysis of daily foraging patterns of laboratory colonies of the eastern tent caterpillar, Malacosoma americanum (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae), recorded photo-electronically (1980) Can. Entomol., 112, pp. 731-738; Fitzgerald, T.D., Sociality in caterpillars (1993) Caterpillars: Ecological and Evolutionary Constraints on Foraging, pp. 372-404. , In: Stamp, N. E. Casey, T. M., eds. Chapman and Hall, New York. pp; Fitzgerald, T.D., (1995) The Tent Caterpillars, , Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, NY; Fitzgerald, T.D., Costa, J.T., Trail-based communication and foraging behavior of young colonies of forest tent caterpillars (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) (1986) Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am., 79, pp. 999-1007; Fitzgerald, T.D., Costa, J.T., Collective behavior in social caterpillars (1999) Information Processing in Social Insects, pp. 379-400. , In: Detrain, C., Deneubourg, J. L. Pasteels, J. M., eds. Birkhau?ser Verlag, Basel. pp; Fitzgerald, T.D., Underwood, D.L., Winter foraging patterns and voluntary hypothermia in the social caterpillar Eucheira socialis (2000) Ecol. Entomol., 25, pp. 1-10; Fitzgerald, T.D., Visscher, C.R., Foraging behavior and growth of isolated larvae of a social caterpillar, Malacosoma americanum (1996) Entomol. Exp. Appl., 81, pp. 293-299; Fitzgerald, T.D., Casey, T., Joos, B., Daily foraging schedule of field colonies of the eastern tent caterpillar Malacosoma americanum (1988) Oecologia, 76, pp. 574-578; Goss, S., Deneubourg, J.L., Autocatalysis as a source of synchronised rhythmical activity in social insects (1988) Insectes Sociaux, 35, pp. 310-315; Heinrich, B., Foraging strategies of caterpillars: Leaf damage and predator avoidance strategies (1979) Oecologia, 42, pp. 325-337; Heinrich, B., Caterpillar leaf damage and the game of hide-and-seek with birds (1983) Ecology, 64, pp. 592-602; Heinrich, B., How avian predators constrain caterpillar foraging (1993) Caterpillars: Ecological and Evolutionary Constraints on Foraging, pp. 224-248. , In: Stamp, N. E. Casey, T. M., eds. Chapman \& Hall, New York. pp; Hemelrijk, C.K., Understanding social behaviour with the help of complexity science (2002) Ethology, 108, pp. 655-671; Hodson, A.C., (1941) An Ecological Study of the Forest Tent Caterpillar, Malacosoma Disstria Hbn, in Northern Minnesota, , University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, Technical Bulletin 148; Joos, B., Casey, T.M., Fitzgerald, T.D., Buttemer, W.A., Roles of the tent in behavioral thermoregulation of eastern tent caterpillars (1988) Ecology, 69, pp. 2004-2011; Knapp, R., Casey, T.M., Thermal ecology, behavior, and growth of gypsy moth and eastern tent caterpillars (1986) Ecology, 67, pp. 598-608; Krause, J., Ruxton, G.D., (2002) Living in Groups, , Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford; Lance, D.R., Elkinton, J.S., Schwalbe, C.P., Feeding rhythms of gypsy moth larvae: Effect of food quality during outbreaks (1986) Ecology, 67, pp. 1650-1654; Le?vesque, K.R., Fortin, M., Mauffette, Y., Temperature and food quality effects on growth, consumption and post-ingestive utilization efficiencies of the forest tent caterpillar Malacosoma disstria (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) (2002) Bull. Entomol. Res., 92, pp. 127-136; Portha, S., Deneubourg, J.L., Detrain, C., Self-organized asymmetries in ant foraging: A functional response to food type and colony needs (2002) Behav. Ecol., 13, pp. 776-781; Reynolds, S.E., Nottingham, S.F., Effects of temperature on growth and efficiency of food utilization in fifth-instar caterpillars of the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta (1985) J. Insect Physiol., 31, pp. 129-134; Ruf, C., Fiedler, K., Plasticity in foraging patterns of larval colonies of the small Eggar moth, Eriogaster lanestris (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) (2002) Oecologia, 131, pp. 626-634; Ruf, C., Freese, A., Fiedler, K., Larval sociality in three species of central-place foraging lappet moths (Lasiocampidae): A comparative survey (2003) Zoologischer Anzeiger, 242, pp. 209-222; Schank, J.C., Beyond reductionism: Refocusing on the individual with individual-based modeling (2001) Complexity, 6, pp. 33-40; Schank, J.C., Alberts, J.R., The developmental emergence of coupled activity as cooperative aggregation in rat pups (2000) Proc. R. Soc. Lond., Biol. Sci., 367, pp. 2307-2315; Sibly, R.M., Nott, H.M.R., Fletcher, D.J., Splitting behaviour into bouts (1990) Anim. Behav., 39, pp. 63-69; Stamp, N.E., Bowers, M.D., Variation in food quality and temperature constrain foraging of gregarious caterpillars (1990) Ecology, 71, pp. 1031-1039; Strogatz, S., (2003) Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order, , Theia, New York; Weseloh, R.M., Behavioral response of gypsy moth (Lepidoptera Lymantriidae) larvae to abiotic environmental factors (1989) Environ. Entomol., 18, pp. 361-367. },
    ABSTRACT = { Self-organization can generate synchronized group activity without external triggering cues, and schedules of self-organized collective activity can vary with environmental conditions. This plasticity can improve group members' ability to meet their requirements in different environments. In colonial caterpillars, synchronized colony foraging schedules have been postulated to depend either on avoidance of visual predators or on temperature effects on ectotherm physiology. We examine the foraging schedule of forest tent caterpillars (Malacosoma disstria) under different constant conditions to distinguish between these hypotheses. Plasticity in the foraging schedule was tested by keeping colonies under different constant regimes of light and temperature. Digital video and tracking software were used to record the colony's alternation between quiescent and active bouts. The duration and frequency of bouts was compared between treatments. The schedule of synchronized colony activity was not affected by lighting, but it accelerated at higher temperature, because of a decrease in the duration of both active and quiescent bouts. Forest tent caterpillars' foraging schedule thus depends on the time required to accomplish the tasks of food finding (active bouts) and food processing (quiescent bouts). As caterpillars are ectotherms, locomotion and digestion rates increase at higher temperature and both tasks are accomplished faster. The forest tent caterpillar and the congeneric eastern tent caterpillar (M. americanum) both exhibit self-organized synchronized collective foraging, but environmental modulation of foraging schedule differs between these species, according to differences in social organization and thermal ecology. Eastern tent caterpillars maintain a fixed foraging schedule under varying temperatures and use the tent to maintain high metabolic rates. In the forest tent caterpillar, flexibility of the foraging schedule in accordance with changes in metabolism lessens the constraints imposed by collective foraging. Synchronous foraging, where entire social groups travel together to and from feeding sites, is thought to have several fitness advantages including improved food finding, recruitment to profitable food sources, anti-predator defense and group thermoregulation between foraging expeditions. © 2006 Blackwell Verlag. },
    OWNER = { racinep },
    TIMESTAMP = { 2007.09.07 },
}

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