Resource availability and heterogeneity shape the self‐organisation of regular spatial patterning

Jessica Castillo Vardaro, Juan A. Bonachela, Christopher C. M. Baker, Malin L. Pinsky, Daniel F. Doak, Robert M. Pringle & Corina E. Tarnita
Explaining large-scale ordered patterns and their effects on ecosystem functioning is a fundamental and controversial challenge in ecology. Here, we coupled empirical and theoretical approaches to explore how competition and spatial heterogeneity govern the regularity of colony dispersion in fungus-farming termites. Individuals from different colonies fought fiercely, and inter-nest distances were greater when nests were large and resources scarce—as expected if competition is strong, large colonies require more resources, and foraging area scales with resource...
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