Multi-scale movement syndromes for comparative analyses of animal movement patterns

Kays, Roland, Hirsch, Ben, Caillaud, Damien, Mares, Rafael, Alavi, Shauhin, Havmøller, Rasmus Worsøe, and Crofoot, Margaret (2023) Multi-scale movement syndromes for comparative analyses of animal movement patterns. Movement Ecology, 11. 61.

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Abstract

Background: Animal movement is a behavioral trait shaped by the need to find food and suitable habitat, avoid predators, and reproduce. Using high-resolution tracking data, it is possible to describe movement in greater detail than ever before, which has led to many discoveries about the behavioral strategies of particular species. Recently, enough data been become available to enable a comparative approach, which has the potential to uncover general causes and consequences of variation in movement patterns, but which must be scale specific.

Methods: Here we introduce a new multi-scale movement syndrome (MSMS) framework for describing and comparing animal movements and use it to explore the behavior of four sympatric mammals. MSMS incorporates four hierarchical scales of animal movement: (1) fine-scale movement steps which accumulate into (2) daily paths which then, over weeks or months, form a (3) life-history phase. Finally, (4) the lifetime track of an individual consists of multiple life-history phases connected by dispersal or migration events. We suggest a series of metrics to describe patterns of movement at each of these scales and use the first three scales of this framework to compare the movement of 46 animals from four frugivorous mammal species.

Results: While subtle differences exist between the four species in their step-level movements, they cluster into three distinct movement syndromes in both path- and life-history phase level analyses. Differences in feeding ecology were a better predictor of movement patterns than a species’ locomotory or sensory adaptations.

Conclusions: Given the role these species play as seed dispersers, these movement syndromes could have important ecosystem implications by affecting the pattern of seed deposition. This multiscale approach provides a hierarchical framework for comparing animal movement for addressing ecological and evolutionary questions. It parallels scales of analyses for resource selection functions, offering the potential to connect movement process with emergent patterns of space use.

Item ID: 80811
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2051-3933
Copyright Information: © North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources 2023. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2024 03:36
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310307 Population ecology @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310301 Behavioural ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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