The role of aggression in maintaining the structure...

The role of aggression in maintaining the structure of the community

Paradoxically at first glance, one of the most important factors in supporting the structure of communities is aggression. K. Lorenz paid much attention to the phenomenon of aggression. This is the subject of his book, Aggression (the so-called "evil"), written in 1966 and translated into United States in 1994.

As K. Lorenz points out, the existence of groups with close individual connections between individuals is possible only in animals with a sufficiently developed ability for directed aggression, in which the union of two or more individuals contributes to better survival. In the chapter on biological forms of behavior, we examined in detail various types of aggression and their role in animal life.

In the process of formation and maintenance of stable social groups, aggression is mainly intraspecific. It plays an enormous role in the formation and maintenance of the structure of individualized communities, since it facilitates the establishment of ordered hierarchical relations between animals. In addition, intraspecific aggression provides isolation of individual groups of individuals within the population, which contributes to the preservation of their autonomy when they meet in the same territory. Intraspecific aggression counteracts the penetration of foreign individuals into this community, and also limits the number of producers by expelling part of the males. Due to this, reserve arises of migrating individuals, due to which the shortage of producers in other populations is being replenished.

One of the indicators of the general level of aggressiveness in a given species can be the minimum value of individual distance. In single species, individuals usually retain large distances among themselves, rather than in communities . Immediate bodily contact between individuals of similar species is a kind of exceptional phenomenon and is possible only at some moments of life. The relationship between adult individuals of the same sex is generally based on mutual antagonism. In social species, on the contrary, individuals of both the same sex and the same sex can easily and closely contact each other. The level of intraspecific aggression is much lower. But, nevertheless, despite the relative decrease in the level of aggressiveness in social species, it is aggression that facilitates the ordering of relations in their communities and the emergence of ritualized demonstrations.

There are two main trends in the evolution of aggressive behavior. The first, more characteristic of social types, is a decrease in the general level of aggressiveness or an increase in the threshold for the appearance of aggressive reactions. The second, observed in those species in whose life an important role is played by territorial relations, is expressed mainly in ritualization of aggressive behavior. The overall aggression level in these species can be very high, and the threshold the occurrence of aggressive reactions is low, but all manifestations of aggression are extremely ritualized and take the form of a bright and differentiated threatening behavior. However, the allocation of these trends is relatively arbitrary, both can manifest themselves in parallel or in one way or another compensate one another, being in a complex interlacing.

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