Individual-level movement bias leads to the formation of higher-order social structure in a mobile group of baboons

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Bonnell, Tyler R.
Clarke, Parry M.
Henzi, Peter
Barrett, Louise
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The Royal Society Publishing
In mobile social groups, influence patterns driving group movement can vary between democratic and despotic. The arrival at any single pattern of influence is thought to be underpinned by both environmental factors and group composition. To identify the specific patterns of influence driving travel decision-making in a chacma baboon troop, we used spatially explicit data to extract patterns of individual movement bias. We scaled these estimates of individual-level bias to the level of the group by constructing an influence network and assessing its emergent structural properties. Our results indicate that there is heterogeneity in movement bias: individual animals respond consistently to particular group members, and higher-ranking animals are more likely to influence the movement of others. This heterogeneity resulted in a group-level network structure that consisted of a single core and two outer shells. Here, the presence of a core suggests thatasetofhighlyinterdependentanimalsdroveroutinegroup movements. These results suggest that heterogeneity at the individual level can lead to group-level influence structures, and that movement patterns in mobile social groups can add to the exploration of both how these structures develop (i.e. mechanistic aspects) and what consequences they have for individual- and group-level outcomes (i.e. functional aspects).
Sherpa Romeo green journal. Open access article. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International LIcense (CC BY 4.0) applies.
Movement ecology , Leadership , Network core , Attraction-repulsion models , Moving baboon troops , Movement decisions , Mobile baboon troops
Bonnell, T. R., Clarke, P. M., Henzi, S. P., & Barrett, L. (2017). Individual-level movement bias leads to the formation of higher-order social structure in a mobile group of baboons. Royal Society Open Science, 4(7), 170148.