Movement Ecology is an open-access interdisciplinary journal publishing novel insights from empirical and theoretical approaches into the ecology of movement of the whole organism - either animals, plants or microorganisms - as the central theme. We welcome manuscripts on any taxa and any movement phenomena (e.g. foraging, dispersal and seasonal migration) addressing important research questions on the patterns, mechanisms, causes and consequences of organismal movement. Manuscripts will be rigorously peer-reviewed to ensure novelty and high quality.
- Ran Nathan, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
- Luca Giuggioli, University of Bristol
Society affiliationsMovement Ecology is affiliated with the Minerva Center for Movement Ecology
ReviewWe investigate if the movement ecology paradigm is sufficiently general to provide sound predictions on dispersal causes, modalities and consequences. Its ability to incorporate variation in anything other than pure movement trajectories appears to be mixed: dispersal is extremely phenotype- and context-dependent, which rends difficult the use of the movement ecology paradigm as an operational tool to incorporate variation across individuals and situations. We propose that a mixed approach combining the Eulerian and Lagrangian approach of movements could deal with the high dispersal variability. We provide perspectives for the integration of ecological and evolutionary processes affecting dispersal into the movement ecology paradigm that could increase its efficiency to study dispersal.
ResearchDispersal is important for gene flow and demographic processes and therefore maintaining connectivity between populations is a key aim for conservation, and a better understanding of habitat selection during dispersal should help guide management decisions. We track dispersing elk using high fix-rate GPS radiotelemetry and find dramatic dispersal events of up to 98 km, during which habitat selection differs from that of non-dispersing individuals in their home range.
ResearchAcorn woodpeckers are territorial social birds that forage on acorns and store them in granaries. We show that their movement patterns across years of high and low acorn production are consistent with Optimal Foraging Theory by flying shorter distances in years of high acorn production despite the fact that they visit more trees in high crop years.
ResearchShould individuals in a leaderless animal group rely on their own knowledge and navigate independently or should they copy the movements of their neighbours? We use computer simulations to show that, regardless of group size and individual navigational ability, the most accurate group navigation performance occurs when individuals give very little weight to their own navigational knowledge and instead copy the movement directions of a limited number of their nearest neighbours.
ReviewMigratory animals face distinctive challenges in responding to rapidly changing environments globally, and we encourage a distinction between variations in movements forced upon migrants by overwhelming environmental changes and those that arise from individual “strategic” decisions. Migratory strategies respond to cues from the environment, and much can be learned by thinking about the reliability of those cues and the mechanisms that allow strategies to accommodate to changes in the cues or in the environments to which they are correlated.
Ran Nathan is a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, and director of the Minerva Center for Movement Ecology. His Movement Ecology Lab studies foraging, dispersal, migration and other types of movements in plants and animals, mostly birds. These studies typically combine advanced biotelemetry of free-ranging animals, mechanistic models, molecular tools, and various observational and experimental approaches in the laboratory and in the field, both in Israel and around the world.
Dr Luca Giuggioli is a faculty member of the Department of Engineering Mathematics and the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Bristol, UK, and a core member of the Bristol Centre for Complexity Sciences. Work in his lab focuses on addressing fundamental questions in animal ecology to explain a variety of phenomena including behavioural interactions, foraging, social spacing, collective movement and epidemic disease spread. These studies involve the use of mathematical, computational and statistical techniques to develop mechanistic models of organism movement that explain empirical observations.
Minerva Center for Movement Ecology
The Minerva Center for Movement Ecology is an international interdisciplinary organization of researchers that have set a common goal to advance groundbreaking integrative research on the movement of organisms.
The center, established in January 2012, is sponsored by the Minerva Foundation together with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It aims at offering various collaborative activities such as workshops and meetings, as well as opportunities to train and promote young researchers, to develop new technologies, data analysis tools, scientific networks and research facilities. In particular, the Minerva Center for Movement Ecology will work together with Movement Ecology to advance the dissemination of research on various movement ecology themes.