From single steps to mass migration: the problem of scale in the movement ecology of the Serengeti wildebeest

Torney, C. J. , Hopcraft, J. G. C. , Morrison, T. A., Couzin, I. D. and Levin, S. A. (2018) From single steps to mass migration: the problem of scale in the movement ecology of the Serengeti wildebeest. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 373(1746), 20170012. (doi:10.1098/rstb.2017.0012) (PMID:29581397)

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Abstract

A central question in ecology is how to link processes that occur over different scales. The daily interactions of individual organisms ultimately determine community dynamics, population fluctuations and the functioning of entire ecosystems. Observations of these multiscale ecological processes are constrained by various technological, biological or logistical issues, and there are often vast discrepancies between the scale at which observation is possible and the scale of the question of interest. Animal movement is characterized by processes that act over multiple spatial and temporal scales. Second-by-second decisions accumulate to produce annual movement patterns. Individuals influence, and are influenced by, collective movement decisions, which then govern the spatial distribution of populations and the connectivity of meta-populations. While the field of movement ecology is experiencing unprecedented growth in the availability of movement data, there remain challenges in integrating observations with questions of ecological interest. In this article, we present the major challenges of addressing these issues within the context of the Serengeti wildebeest migration, a keystone ecological phenomena that crosses multiple scales of space, time and biological complexity. This article is part of the theme issue ’Collective movement ecology’.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Torney, Dr Colin and Morrison, Dr Thomas and Hopcraft, Dr Grant
Authors: Torney, C. J., Hopcraft, J. G. C., Morrison, T. A., Couzin, I. D., and Levin, S. A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Mathematics
Journal Name:Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8436
ISSN (Online):1471-2970
Published Online:26 March 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 373(1746): 20170012
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
Data DOI:10.5525/gla.researchdata.566

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
681691AfricanBioServicesDaniel HaydonEuropean Commission (EC)641918RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED

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