Using Home Range Estimates To Construct Social Networks For Species With Indirect Behavioral Interactions

Vincent A. Formica, Swarthmore College
Malcolm Elliot Augat 09, Swarthmore College
Mollie Elyse Barnard 10, Swarthmore College
R. E. Butterfield
Corlett Wolfe Wood 08, Swarthmore College
E. D. Brodie III

Abstract

Social network analysis has become a vital tool for studying patterns of individual interactions that influence a variety of processes in behavior, ecology, and evolution. Taxa in which interactions are indirect or whose social behaviors are difficult to observe directly are being excluded from this rapidly expanding field. Here, we introduce a method that uses a probabilistic and spatially implicit technique for delineating social interactions. Kernel density estimators (KDE) are nonparametric techniques that are often used in home range analyses and allow researchers studying social networks to generate interaction matrices based on shared space use. We explored the use of KDE analysis and the effects of altering KDE input parameters on social network metrics using data from a natural population of the spatially persistent forked fungus beetle, Bolitotherus cornutus.