par Collignon, Bertrand ;Cervantes Valdevieso, Luz Elisa;Detrain, Claire
Référence Behavioural processes, 108, page (98-104)
Publication Publié, 2014-10
Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : In social species, food exploitation is a challenging cooperative task that requires communication and coordination with some individuals that are more influential in the final foraging process. Among recruiters of the ant Tetramorium caespitum that have discovered food, some individuals act as leaders that physically guide groups of recruits until they reach the food source. Here, we discovered that highly motivated recruiters that focus their recruiting activity on areas close to the nest entrance and that perform a high number of contacts with nestmates in a short period of time are more likely to lead a group of followers on their next foraging trip. Based on the individual tracking of recruiters, we also show that the probability to lead a group is homogeneously distributed and that no specialisation into leadership occurs even over successive foraging trips. Instead of a permanent leadership, a distributed leadership that is mainly based on the motivation level of recruiters appears as an efficient way to process information and make collective decisions. Finally, we discuss how heterogeneity among group members in their access to information, their motivation to recruit or the social context of recruitment can be coupled to self-organising processes and can ultimately lead to adaptive collective patterns.