Mechanistic models of animal movement

Mechanistic Home Range Analysis

James Forester

The objective of this research is to use mechanistic home range models to develop a predictive, reductionist theory of animal home range patterns from an understanding of the ecological and evolutionary forces that govern the movement behavior of individuals. In contrast to traditional home range models where arbitrary statistical distributions are used to characterize spatial patterns of animal relocations, mechanistic home range models formally derive expected patterns of space-use from underlying correlated random walk descriptions of individual movement and interaction behavior.By developing a series of mechanistic home range models for carnivore populations, this research has shown how mechanistic home range model models can be used to:

Test hypotheses regarding the underlying ecological determinants of home range patterns observed in populations

Predict how spatial distributions of home ranges will change following perturbation

Examine the functional (adaptive) significance of movement strategies, and resulting patterns of space-use

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