Multiple movement modes by large herbivores at multiple spatiotemporal scales

Fryxell, J.M., Hazell, M., Borger, L., Dalziel, B.D., Haydon, D.T. , Morales, J.M., McIntosh, T. and Rosatte, R.C. (2008) Multiple movement modes by large herbivores at multiple spatiotemporal scales. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(49), pp. 19114-19119. (doi: 10.1073/pnas.0801737105)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0801737105

Abstract

Recent theory suggests that animals should switch facultatively among canonical movement modes as a complex function of internal state, landscape characteristics, motion capacity, and navigational capacity. We tested the generality of this paradigm for free-ranging elk (Cervus elaphus) over 5 orders of magnitude in time (minutes to years) and space (meters to 100 km). At the coarsest spatiotemporal scale, elk shifted from a dispersive to a home-ranging phase over the course of 1-3 years after introduction into a novel environment. At intermediate spatiotemporal scales, elk continued to alternate between movement modes. During the dispersive phase, elk alternated between encamped and exploratory modes, possibly linked to changes in motivational goals from foraging to social bonding. During the home-ranging phase, elk movements were characterized by a complex interplay between attraction to preferred habitat types and memory of previous movements across the home-range. At the finest temporal and spatial scale, elk used area-restricted search while browsing, interspersed with less sinuous paths when not browsing. Encountering a patch of high-quality food plants triggered the switch from one mode to the next, creating biphasic movement dynamics that were reinforced by local resource heterogeneity. These patterns suggest that multiphasic structure is fundamental to the movement patterns of elk at all temporal and spatial scales tested

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Haydon, Professor Daniel
Authors: Fryxell, J.M., Hazell, M., Borger, L., Dalziel, B.D., Haydon, D.T., Morales, J.M., McIntosh, T., and Rosatte, R.C.
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
ISSN:0027-8424

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