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Benefits of swarming: mysids in larger swarms save energy
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-16, 12:52 authored by Ritz, DA, Foster, EG, Kerrie SwadlingKerrie Swadling
Mysids have previously been shown to consume oxygen at much lower rates when in a swarm (cohesive group in which individuals are evenly spaced but not polarized) than when in uncohesive small groups. Thus the swarm represents a strategy for conserving energy. In this study different swarm sizes of mysids were forced to perform escape responses by exposing them to jets of ammonium hydroxide, while measuring their oxygen uptake. Swarms of 200 individuals showed no significant difference in oxygen consumption with or without the ammonium treatment. In contrast, swarms of 100 showed a significant increase of around 45% oxygen uptake when exposed to ammonium. In conjunction with earlier demonstrations of increased feeding success and lower oxygen uptake when aggregated, this work clearly confirms the energetic benefits of being in a larger social group rather than a smaller one or remaining solitary.
Publication titleJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Department/SchoolInstitute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
PublisherCambridge University Press
Place of publicationUK