Population-level consequences of social information use: a semi-experimental approach

Funding: National Science Centre, grant no. 2018/29/B/NZ8/00066

PI: Lechosław Kuczyński

Co-investigators: Jakub Szymkowiak, Katarzyna Markowska, Katarzyna Malinowska, Robert L. Thomson

Description: This project has two objectives: 1) to develop a new methodology of inferring biotic interactions from observational data, and 2) to test this methodology on an extensive dataset (Common Breeding Bird Survey in Poland) to show population-level consequences of social information use. The whole approach is based on the modern coexistence theory and focuses on the niche concept.

The newly designed methodology will be implemented in the form of a dedicated R library and tested using a study system constituting of a set of interacting species that were experimentally shown to be involved in information transfer among individuals.

Our approach provides a link between behavioural and population ecology by looking at the information transfer between heterospecifics through the lens of the concepts of facilitation and competition. The framework proposed here is designed to facilitate the incorporation of the social-information-use paradigm into modern coexistence theory.