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Running on empty: Recharge dynamics from animal movement data

December 9, 2018

Vital rates such as survival and recruitment have always been important in the study of population and community ecology. At the individual level, physiological processes such as energetics are critical in understanding biomechanics and movement ecology and also scale up to influence food webs and trophic cascades. Although vital rates and population-level characteristics are tied with individual-level animal movement, most statistical models for telemetry data are not equipped to provide inference about these relationships because they lack the explicit, mechanistic connection to physiological dynamics. We present a framework for modelling telemetry data that explicitly includes an aggregated physiological process associated with decision making and movement in heterogeneous environments. Our framework accommodates a wide range of movement and physiological process specifications. We illustrate a specific model formulation in continuous-time to provide direct inference about gains and losses associated with physiological processes based on movement. Our approach can also be extended to accommodate auxiliary data when available. We demonstrate our model to infer mountain lion (Puma concolor; in Colorado, USA) and African buffalo (Syncerus caffer; in Kruger National Park, South Africa) recharge dynamics.

Publication Year 2019
Title Running on empty: Recharge dynamics from animal movement data
DOI 10.1111/ele.13198
Authors Mevin Hooten, Henry R. Scharf, Juan M. Morales
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Ecology Letters
Index ID 70223253
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Seattle