Environmental and individual drivers of animal movement patterns across a wide geographical gradient

Tal Avgar, Anna Mosser, Glen S. Brown, John M. Fryxell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Within the rapidly developing field of movement ecology, much attention has been given to studying the movement of individuals within a subset of their population's occupied range. Our understanding of the effects of landscape heterogeneity on animal movement is still fairly limited as it requires studying the movement of multiple individuals across a variety of environmental conditions. Gaining deeper understanding of the environmental drivers of movement is a crucial component of predictive models of population spread and habitat selection and may help inform management and conservation. In Ontario, woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) occur along a wide geographical gradient ranging from the boreal forest to the Hudson Bay floodplains. We used high-resolution GPS data, collected from 114 individuals across a 450 000 km2 area in northern Ontario, to link movement behaviour to underlying local environmental variables associated with habitat permeability, predation risk and forage availability. We show that a great deal of observed variability in movement patterns across space and time can be attributed to local environmental conditions, with residual individual differences that may reflect spatial population structure. We discuss our results in the context of current knowledge of movement and caribou ecology and highlight potential applications of our approach to the study of wide-ranging animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-106
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Animal Ecology
Volume82
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Rangifer tarandus caribou
Ontario
environmental factors
animal
Hudson Bay
ecology
animals
Rangifer tarandus
habitat preferences
boreal forests
floodplains
space and time
permeability
population structure
forage
predation
environmental conditions
habitats
predation risk
habitat selection

Keywords

  • Connectivity
  • Mixed effects
  • Population spread
  • Random walk
  • Reindeer
  • Residence time
  • Resource selection
  • Scale-dependent movement
  • Space use
  • Squared displacement

Cite this

Environmental and individual drivers of animal movement patterns across a wide geographical gradient. / Avgar, Tal; Mosser, Anna; Brown, Glen S.; Fryxell, John M.

In: Journal of Animal Ecology, Vol. 82, No. 1, 01.01.2013, p. 96-106.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{0e4b2219f20d4f9cb2a53ce13ce5c222,
title = "Environmental and individual drivers of animal movement patterns across a wide geographical gradient",
abstract = "Within the rapidly developing field of movement ecology, much attention has been given to studying the movement of individuals within a subset of their population's occupied range. Our understanding of the effects of landscape heterogeneity on animal movement is still fairly limited as it requires studying the movement of multiple individuals across a variety of environmental conditions. Gaining deeper understanding of the environmental drivers of movement is a crucial component of predictive models of population spread and habitat selection and may help inform management and conservation. In Ontario, woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) occur along a wide geographical gradient ranging from the boreal forest to the Hudson Bay floodplains. We used high-resolution GPS data, collected from 114 individuals across a 450 000 km2 area in northern Ontario, to link movement behaviour to underlying local environmental variables associated with habitat permeability, predation risk and forage availability. We show that a great deal of observed variability in movement patterns across space and time can be attributed to local environmental conditions, with residual individual differences that may reflect spatial population structure. We discuss our results in the context of current knowledge of movement and caribou ecology and highlight potential applications of our approach to the study of wide-ranging animals.",
keywords = "Connectivity, Mixed effects, Population spread, Random walk, Reindeer, Residence time, Resource selection, Scale-dependent movement, Space use, Squared displacement",
author = "Tal Avgar and Anna Mosser and Brown, {Glen S.} and Fryxell, {John M.}",
year = "2013",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/j.1365-2656.2012.02035.x",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "82",
pages = "96--106",
journal = "Journal of Animal Ecology",
issn = "0021-8790",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Environmental and individual drivers of animal movement patterns across a wide geographical gradient

AU - Avgar, Tal

AU - Mosser, Anna

AU - Brown, Glen S.

AU - Fryxell, John M.

PY - 2013/1/1

Y1 - 2013/1/1

N2 - Within the rapidly developing field of movement ecology, much attention has been given to studying the movement of individuals within a subset of their population's occupied range. Our understanding of the effects of landscape heterogeneity on animal movement is still fairly limited as it requires studying the movement of multiple individuals across a variety of environmental conditions. Gaining deeper understanding of the environmental drivers of movement is a crucial component of predictive models of population spread and habitat selection and may help inform management and conservation. In Ontario, woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) occur along a wide geographical gradient ranging from the boreal forest to the Hudson Bay floodplains. We used high-resolution GPS data, collected from 114 individuals across a 450 000 km2 area in northern Ontario, to link movement behaviour to underlying local environmental variables associated with habitat permeability, predation risk and forage availability. We show that a great deal of observed variability in movement patterns across space and time can be attributed to local environmental conditions, with residual individual differences that may reflect spatial population structure. We discuss our results in the context of current knowledge of movement and caribou ecology and highlight potential applications of our approach to the study of wide-ranging animals.

AB - Within the rapidly developing field of movement ecology, much attention has been given to studying the movement of individuals within a subset of their population's occupied range. Our understanding of the effects of landscape heterogeneity on animal movement is still fairly limited as it requires studying the movement of multiple individuals across a variety of environmental conditions. Gaining deeper understanding of the environmental drivers of movement is a crucial component of predictive models of population spread and habitat selection and may help inform management and conservation. In Ontario, woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) occur along a wide geographical gradient ranging from the boreal forest to the Hudson Bay floodplains. We used high-resolution GPS data, collected from 114 individuals across a 450 000 km2 area in northern Ontario, to link movement behaviour to underlying local environmental variables associated with habitat permeability, predation risk and forage availability. We show that a great deal of observed variability in movement patterns across space and time can be attributed to local environmental conditions, with residual individual differences that may reflect spatial population structure. We discuss our results in the context of current knowledge of movement and caribou ecology and highlight potential applications of our approach to the study of wide-ranging animals.

KW - Connectivity

KW - Mixed effects

KW - Population spread

KW - Random walk

KW - Reindeer

KW - Residence time

KW - Resource selection

KW - Scale-dependent movement

KW - Space use

KW - Squared displacement

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84872615131&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84872615131&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2012.02035.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2012.02035.x

M3 - Article

VL - 82

SP - 96

EP - 106

JO - Journal of Animal Ecology

JF - Journal of Animal Ecology

SN - 0021-8790

IS - 1

ER -