Behavioural ecology at the spatial-social interface

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: This is version 2 of this Preprint.

This Preprint has no visible version.

Download Preprint
Add a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.


There are no comments or no comments have been made public for this article.


Download Preprint


Quinn Webber, Gregory Albery, Damien R. Farine, Noa Pinter-Wollman, Nitika Sharma, Orr Spiegel, Eric Vander Wal, Kezia Manlove


Spatial and social behaviour are fundamental aspects of an animal’s biology, and the social and spatial environments are indelibly linked through mutual causes and shared consequences. Behavioural variation at the “spatial-social interface”, which we define as the intersection of social and spatial aspects of individuals’ phenotypes and environments, has implications for ecological and evolutionary processes including pathogen transmission, population dynamics, and the evolution of social systems. Traditionally, the spatial and social dimensions of animal biology have been studied separately despite many conceptual and practical similarities. The lack of shared vocabulary or direct alignment of analogous concepts has prevented unification of social and spatial behaviour, which diminishes the potential for synthesis, reduces the power of integrated analyses, and results in missed opportunities to test both spatial and social hypotheses. We bridge the spatial-social interface by outlining a foundation of shared theory, vocabulary, and methods. We discuss the integration of spatial and social behaviour, identify shared concepts and approaches, and discuss how these concepts can be integrated to identify and test questions at the spatial-social interface.



Biology, Integrative Biology, Life Sciences


behavioural ecology, collective movement, ecological niche, movement ecology, social environment, social network, social niche, social phenotype, spatial environment, spatial phenotype


Published: 2022-02-11 21:01

Older Versions

CC-By Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International