Towards a unification of movement ecology and biogeography: conceptual framework and a case study on Afrotropical ducks

Cumming, Graeme S., Gaidet, Nicolas, and Ndlovu, Mduduzi (2012) Towards a unification of movement ecology and biogeography: conceptual framework and a case study on Afrotropical ducks. Journal of Biogeography, 39 (8). pp. 1401-1411.

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Aim: We present elements of a new conceptual framework for the unification of biogeography and movement ecology, and demonstrate the value of the new framework using a case study of two species of Afrotropical duck (Anatidae) across a latitudinal gradient.

Location: Southern Africa.

Methods: The first part of the paper rests on logic and philosophy. For the second (case study) section, we used data from up to 3years of satellite telemetry for 26 individuals of two species of Afrotropical duck, the Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca) and red-billed teal (Anas erythrorhyncha), from three different populations with moulting sites spread across 17 degrees of latitude. We compared quantitative measures of movement patterns using principal components analysis and boxplots.

Results: We argue that unpacking the concept of dispersal into the fundamental elements of movement (internal drivers, external drivers, navigation capacity, and motion capacity) provides a more solid basis for contrasting competing hypotheses in biogeographical studies. We found, surprisingly, that red-billed teal, a 'highly nomadic' species, moved with a relatively high degree of consistency at each of our three study latitudes, while Egyptian geese, a 'resident' species, showed latitude-dependent variation in their movements. However, much of the latitude-related variation for Egyptian geese was driven by their annual moult migrations, rather than directly by fluctuations in resource availability. Internal factors appear to dominate movements and probably determine the species ranges of both of our study species.

Main conclusions: The integration of biogeography and movement ecology, through a more sophisticated view of mechanisms formerly lumped together under 'dispersal', offers a fertile area for further research. The biogeography of Afrotropical ducks appears to be strongly influenced by internal factors. Biogeographical patterns in this taxon may thus be best understood (and modelled) as a long-term response to environmental stochasticity, rather than as a deliberate selection of optimal habitat. Latitudinal comparisons emerge as a valuable way of gaining insights into the drivers of movement for widespread species.

Item ID: 40964
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2699
Keywords: Africa, Alopochen aegyptiaca, Anas erythrorhyncha, Anatidae, biogeography, dispersal, movement, niche, species range
Funders: USAID, Wildlife Conservation Society, CIRAD, National Research Foundation of South Africa, DST/NRF Centre of Excellence at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute, University of Cape Town
Projects and Grants: Global Avian Influenza network for Surveillance (GRIPAVI) project
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2015 02:53
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050104 Landscape Ecology @ 33%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 33%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060204 Freshwater Ecology @ 34%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
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