eCite Digital Repository

Benefits of swarming: mysids in larger swarms save energy


Ritz, DA and Foster, EG and Swadling, KM, Benefits of swarming: mysids in larger swarms save energy, Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 81, (3) pp. 543-544. ISSN 0025-3154 (2001) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0025315401004210


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.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Ritz, DA (Associate Professor David Ritz)
UTAS Author:Foster, EG (Miss Elizabeth Foster)
UTAS Author:Swadling, KM (Associate Professor Kerrie Swadling)
ID Code:21964
Year Published:2001
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2001-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-03

Repository Staff Only: item control page