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Data from: Fear of predation shapes social network structure and the acquisition of foraging information in guppy shoals

Citation

Hasenjager, Matthew J.; Dugatkin, Lee A. (2017), Data from: Fear of predation shapes social network structure and the acquisition of foraging information in guppy shoals, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.g7616

Abstract

Spatio-temporal variation in predation risk is predicted to select for plastic anti-predator responses, which may in turn impact the fine-scale social structure of prey groups and processes mediated by that structure. To test these predictions, we manipulated the ambient predation risk experienced by Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata) groups before quantifying their social networks and recording individual latencies to approach and solve a novel foraging task. High-risk conditions drove the formation of social networks that were more strongly assorted by body size than those exposed to low ambient risk and promoted longer durations of contact between preferred partners. Additionally, high background predation risk reduced the probability individuals would approach and solve a novel foraging task. Network-based diffusion analysis revealed that while social transmission of the task solution from knowledgeable to naive individuals occurred at a higher rate within low-risk groups, individuals in high-risk groups were particularly likely to investigate the task while shoaling with preferred social partners. Taken together, our results suggest that the structure and functional importance of prey social networks may partly depend on local predation pressure. Furthermore, by influencing individuals' access to information, fear of predation may impact decision-making in a potentially wide array of behavioural contexts.

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