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Animal movement in dynamic landscapes : interaction between behavioural strategies and resource distributions

journal contribution
posted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by David RoshierDavid Roshier, V Doerr, E Doerr
Most ecological and evolutionary processes are thought to critically depend on dispersal and individual movement but there is little empirical information on the movement strategies used by animals to find resources. In particular, it is unclear whether behavioural variation exists at all scales, or whether behavioural decisions are primarily made at small spatial scales and thus broad-scale patterns of movement simply reflect underlying resource distributions. We evaluated animal movement responses to variable resource distributions using the grey teal (Anas gracilis) in agricultural and desert landscapes in Australia as a model system. Birds in the two landscapes differed in the fractal dimension of their movement paths, with teal in the desert landscape moving less tortuously overall than their counterparts in the agricultural landscape. However, the most striking result was the high levels of individual variability in movement strategies, with different animals exhibiting different responses to the same resources. Teal in the agricultural basin moved with both high and low tortuosity, while teal in the desert basin primarily moved using low levels of tortuosity. These results call into question the idea that broad-scale movement patterns simply reflect underlying resource distributions, and suggest that movement responses in some animals may be behaviourally complex regardless of the spatial scale over which movement occurs.

History

Journal

Oecologia

Volume

156

Issue

2

Pagination

465 - 477

Publisher

Springer-Verlag

Location

Heidelberg, Germany

ISSN

0029-8549

eISSN

1432-1939

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2008, Springer-Verlag

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