Research using social network analyses has been booming since the start of the 2000s, with studies not only in humans but also many nonhuman species. Primates are no exception, with the number of retrievable items using the keywords “social networks primates” increasing tenfold from 2000 to 2017 (Fig. 1a). Studies are in various domains including psychology, behavioral sciences, and sociology, as well as neurosciences and infectious diseases (Fig. 1b). To our knowledge, several special issues and books have focused on animals (Croft et al. 2008; Whitehead 2008; Krause et al. 2009; Sheldon 2015; Sueur and Mery 2017) but with only one special issue devoted to primates (Sueur et al. 2011). In the last decade studies have evolved from describing structures (Manno 2008; Carter et al. 2013; Bret et al. 2013) and topologies of social networks or centrality of group members according to their sociodemographic characteristics (Lusseau and Newman 2004; Kanngiesser et al. 2011), to a more holistic approach where the function and evolution of networks are linked to ecological factors, behavioral mechanisms, network topologies, and vice versa (Brent et al. 2013; Fisher et al. 2016; Balasubramaniam et al. 2018). In this new special issue, our aim is to present this integrative and multilevel approach along with state-of-the-art methodologies and theoretical approaches for the study of primate social networks.
Editorial: Social networks analyses in primates, a multilevel perspective
Ivan Puga-Gonzalez, Sebastian Sosa, Cédric Sueur