Signalling adjustments to direct and indirect environmental effects on signal perception in meerkats

Show simple item record Toni, Pauline Gall, Gabriella E.C. Clutton-Brock, Tim H. Manser, Marta B. 2021-04-16T13:03:20Z 2021-04-16T13:03:20Z 2020-08-27
dc.description Supplement 1: Additional information on results of the models fitted for the different analysis. en_ZA
dc.description Supplement 2: Additional analysis on change in group speed with regards to the different environmental conditions. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract The efficiency of communication between animals is determined by the perception range of signals. With changes in the environment, signal transmission between a sender and a receiver can be influenced both directly, where the signal’s propagation quality itself is affected, and indirectly where the senders or receivers’ behaviour is impaired, impacting for example the distance between them. Here we investigated how meerkats (Suricata suricatta) in the Kalahari Desert adjust to these challenges in the context of maintaining group cohesion through contact calls. We found that meerkats changed their calling rate when signal transmission was affected indirectly due to increased dispersion of group members as during a drought, but not under typical wet conditions, when signal transmission was directly affected due to higher vegetation density. Instead under these wetter conditions, meerkats remained within proximity to each other. Overall, both direct and indirect environmental effects on signal perception resulted in an increased probability of groups splitting. In conclusion, we provide evidence that social animals can flexibly adjust their vocal coordination behaviour to cope with direct and indirect effects of the environment on signal perception, but these adjustments have limitations. en_ZA
dc.description.department Mammal Research Institute en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2021 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship The Swiss National Science Foundation, the University of Zurich, and the University of Cambridge. en_ZA
dc.description.uri en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Toni P, Gall GEC, Clutton-Brock TH, Manser MB (2020) Signalling adjustments to direct and indirect environmental effects on signal perception in meerkats. PLoS ONE 15(8): e0238313. pone.0238313 en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1371/journal. pone.0238313
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Public Library of Science en_ZA
dc.rights © 2020 Toni et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. en_ZA
dc.subject Communication en_ZA
dc.subject Animals en_ZA
dc.subject Signal transmission en_ZA
dc.subject Environment en_ZA
dc.subject Meerkat (Suricata suricatta) en_ZA
dc.subject Signalling en_ZA
dc.subject Signal perception en_ZA
dc.title Signalling adjustments to direct and indirect environmental effects on signal perception in meerkats en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA

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