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Data from: The effect of keystone individuals on collective outcomes can be mediated through interactions or behavioral persistence

Citation

Pinter-Wollman, Noa; Keiser, Carl Nick; Wollman, Roy; Pruitt, Jonathan (2016), Data from: The effect of keystone individuals on collective outcomes can be mediated through interactions or behavioral persistence, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5mm01

Abstract

Collective behavior emerges from interactions among group members who often vary in their behavior. The presence of just one or a few keystone individuals, such as leaders or tutors, may have a large effect on collective outcomes. These individuals can catalyze behavioral changes in other group members, thus altering group composition and collective behavior. The influence of keystone individuals on group function may lead to trade-offs between ecological situations, because the behavioral composition they facilitate may be suitable in one situation but not another. We use computer simulations to examine various mechanisms that allow keystone individuals to exert their influence on group members. We further discuss a trade-off between two potentially conflicting collective outcomes, cooperative prey attack and disease dynamics. Our simulations match empirical data from a social spider system and produce testable predictions for the causes and consequences of the influence of keystone individuals on group composition and collective outcomes. We find that a group's behavioral composition can be impacted by the keystone individual through changes to interaction patterns or behavioral persistence over time. Group behavioral composition and the mechanisms that drive the distribution of phenotypes influence collective outcomes and lead to trade-offs between disease dynamics and cooperative prey attack.

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