A multi‐property assessment of intensity of use provides a functional understanding of animal movement

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Title

A multi‐property assessment of intensity of use provides a functional understanding of animal movement

Description

Abstract

  1. The intensity of use of a location is one of the most studied properties of animal movement, yet movement analyses generally focus on the overall use of a location without much consideration of how patterns in intensity of use emerge. Extracting properties related to intensity of use, such as the number of visits, the average and variation in time spent and the average and variation in time between visits, could help provide a more mechanistic understanding of how animals use landscape. Combining and synthesizing these properties into a single spatial representation could inform the role that a location plays for an animal.
  2. We developed an R package named ‘UseScape’ that allows the extraction of these metrics and then clustered them using mixture modelling to create a spatial representation of the type of use an animal makes of the landscape. We illustrate applications of the approach using datasets of animal movement from four taxa and highlight species-specific and cross-species insights.
  3. Our framework highlights properties that functionally differ in how animals use them, contrasting, for example, heavily used locations that emerge because they are frequented for long durations, locations that are repeatedly and regularly visited for shorter durations of time or locations visited irregularly. We found that species generally had similar types of use, such as typical low, mid and high use, but there were also species-specific clusters that would have been ignored when only focusing on the overall intensity of use.
  4. Our multi-system comparison highlighted how the framework provided novel insights that would not have been directly obtainable by currently available approaches. By making the framework available as an R package, these analyses can be easily applicable to a myriad of systems where relocation data are available. Movement ecology as a field can strongly benefit from approaches that not just describe patterns in space use, but also highlight the behavioural mechanisms leading to these emerging patterns.

Bibliographic Citation

Bastille‐Rousseau, G., S. Crews, E. Donovan, M. Egan, N. Gorman, J. Pitman, A. Weber, E. Audia, M. Larreur, and H. Manninen. 2024. A multi‐property assessment of intensity of use provides a functional understanding of animal movement. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 15:345-357.

Creator

Bastille-Rousseau, G.
Crews, S. A.
Donovan, E. B.
Egan, M. E.
Bergman, Eric J.
Rayl, Nathaniel D.

Subject

Animal movement
Clustering
GPS telemetry
Intensity of use
Mixture model

Extent

14 pages

Type

Text

Format

application/pdf

Language

English

Is Part Of

Methods in Ecology and Evolution

Rights Holder

This is an open access ar ticle under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

Date Accepted

11/27/2023

Date Issued

02/06/2024

Date Submitted

05/19/2023

Collection

Citation

Bastille-Rousseau, G. et al., “A multi‐property assessment of intensity of use provides a functional understanding of animal movement,” CPW Digital Collections, accessed May 25, 2024, https://cpw.cvlcollections.org/items/show/456.