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Trends and missing parts in the study of movement ecology

AuthorsHolyoak, Marcel; Casagrandi, Renato; Nathan, Ran; Revilla, Eloy ; Spiegel, Orr
Issue Date5-Dec-2008
PublisherNational Academy of Sciences (U.S.)
CitationProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105(49): 19060-19065 (Dec 2008)
AbstractMovement is important to all organisms, and accordingly it is addressed in a huge literature. Of nearly 26,000 papers referring to movement, an estimated 34% focused on movement by measuring it or testing hypotheses about it. This enormous amount of information is difficult to review, and highlights the need to assess the collective completeness of movement studies and identify gaps. We surveyed 1000 randomly selected papers from 496 journals, and compared the facets of movement studied with a suggested framework for movement ecology, consisting of internal state (motivation, physiology), motion and navigation capacities, and external factors (both the physical environment and living organisms), as well as links among these components. Most studies simply measured and described the movement of organisms without reference to ecological or internal factors, and the most frequently studied part of the framework was the link between external factors and motion capacity. Few studies looked at the effects on movement of navigation, or internal state, and these were mainly from vertebrates. For invertebrates and plants most studies were at the population level, whereas more vertebrate studies were conducted at the individual level. Consideration of only population-level averages promulgates neglect of between-individual variation in movement, potentially hindering the study of factors controlling movement. Terminology was found to be inconsistent among taxa and subdisciplines. The gaps identified in coverage of movement studies highlight research areas that should be addressed to fully understand the ecology of movement. Comparison with the suggested framework will facilitate identification of underlying mechanisms behind observed patterns.
Description6 pages, 5 figures.-- Published online before print December 5, 2008.-- Supporting Information available at: http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2008/12/03/0800483105.DCSupplemental/0800483105SI.pdf
Movement Ecology: Special Feature in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0800483105
Appears in Collections:(EBD) Artículos
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