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Mixed-species Groups of Animals : Behaviour, Community Structure, and Conservation (Paperback) (Eben
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Mixed-species groups of animals are a spectacular and accessible example of the complexity of species interactions. They are found in a wide range of animals, including invertebrates, fish, mammals and birds, and different habitats, both terrestrial and aquatic, throughout the world. Yet although there are more than 500 articles on this subject scattered in separate categories of journals, there has yet to be a general, cross-taxa book-length introduction to this subject that summarizes what kinds of groups are found and the benefits and costs that entail to participants.
The authors first survey the diversity of spatial associations among animals, and then concentrate on moving groups. They review the major classes of theories that have been developed to explain their presence, particularly in how groups increase foraging efficiency and decrease predation. Finally, they explore the intricacies of species interactions such as communication that explain species roles in groups, and discuss what implications these social systems have for conservation. The description of these complex communities will fascinate anyone with interests in ecology and animal behavior; the book also highlights gaps in our current knowledge to guide the next generation of research.
- Functions as a single resource for readers inside and outside of academia on mixed-species groups, serving as a foundation for future research in this field
- Begins with an empirical summary of mixed-species distribution, then reviews how the theories explaining their adaptive benefits are supported by the evidence
- Includes many aspects of mixed-group behaviour (e.g. foraging, communication, collective decision making, dominance, social roles of species and leadership, relationship to conservation) not previously or easily accessible