3 years ago

Navigational efficiency in a biased and correlated random walk model of individual animal movement.

Jamie Wallis, Joseph D Bailey, Edward A Codling
Understanding how an individual animal is able to navigate through its environment is a key question in movement ecology that can give insight into observed movement patterns and the mechanisms behind them. Efficiency of navigation is important for behavioural processes at a range of different spatio-temporal scales, including foraging and migration. Random walk models provide a standard framework for modelling individual animal movement and navigation. Here we consider a vector-weighted biased and correlated random walk (BCRW) model for directed movement (taxis), where external navigation cues are balanced with forward persistence. We derive a mathematical approximation of the expected navigational efficiency for any BCRW of this form and confirm the model predictions using simulations. We demonstrate how the navigational efficiency is related to the weighting given to forward persistence and external navigation cues, and highlight the counter-intuitive result that for low (but realistic) levels of error on forward persistence, a higher navigational efficiency is achieved by giving more weighting to this indirect navigation cue rather than direct navigational cues. We discuss and interpret the relevance of these results for understanding animal movement and navigation strategies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2076

DOI: 10.1002/ecy.2076

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