Data from: Genetic variation in aggregation behaviour and interacting phenotypes in Drosophila
Philippe, Anne Sophie et al. (2016), Data from: Genetic variation in aggregation behaviour and interacting phenotypes in Drosophila, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.n9m02
Aggregation behaviour is the tendency for animals to group together which may have important consequences on individual fitness. We used a combination of experimental and simulation approaches to study how genetic variation and social environment interact to influence aggregation dynamics in Drosophila. To do this, we use two different natural lines of Drosophila that arise from a polymorphism in the foraging gene (“rovers” and “sitters”). We placed groups of flies in a heated arena. Flies could freely move towards one of two small, cooler refuge areas. In groups of the same strain, sitters had a greater tendency to aggregate. The observed behavioural variation was based on only two parameters: the probability of entering a refuge and the likelihood of choosing a refuge based on the number of individuals present. We then directly addressed how different strains interact by mixing rovers and sitters within a group. Aggregation behaviour of each line was strongly affected by the presence of the other strain, without changing the decision rules used by each. Individuals obeying local rules shaped complex group dynamics via a constant feedback loop between the individual and the group. This study could help to identify the circumstances under which particular group compositions may improve individual fitness through underlying aggregation mechanisms under specific environmental conditions.