Theoretical Ecology

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 1–18 | Cite as

Models for alarm call behaviour

  • Luciana Mafalda Elias de Assis
  • Raul Abreu de Assis
  • Moiseis Cecconello
  • Ezio Venturino


The evolution of alarm call behaviour under individual selection is studied. Four mathematical models of increasing complexity are proposed and analysed. Theoretical conditions for the evolution of “selfish”, “mutualistic”, “altruistic” or “spiteful” alarm calls are established. The models indicate that the hypotheses of benefits of retaining group members or avoiding group detection are not sufficient to explain the evolution of alarm call behaviour, but serve as a complementary factor to facilitate its evolution in most cases. It is hypothesized that the evolution of alarm calls between non-kin should evolve probably when calls are mutualistic, mildly altruistic and there are beneficial group size effects against predation.


Alarm call Evolution Model Differential equations 



Luciana Mafalda Elias de Assis acknowledges the support of UNEMAT. Raul Abreu de Assis acknowledges the support of CNPQ, grant 203654/2014-5 and the support of FAPEMAT, Edital Universal 005-2015, process number, 204271/2015. Moiseis Cecconello acknowledges the support of CNPQ, grant 200446/2015-0 and Ezio Venturino acknowledges the partial support of the program “Metodi numerici nelle scienze applicate” of the Dipartimento di Matematica “Giuseppe Peano”.

The authors thank the referees for their contributions for the improvement of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Ciências Exatas e TecnológicasUniversidade do Estado de Mato GrossoSinopBrazil
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Matematica “Giuseppe Peano”Università di TorinoTorinoItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e Biologia dei SistemiUniversità di TorinoTorinoItaly
  4. 4.Departamento de Ciências Exatas e da TerraUniversidade Federal de Mato GrossoCuiabáBrazil

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