Navigation Links
New movement models tested at the Smithsonian in Panama
Date:12/2/2008

Feeling threatened? Hungry? Looking for a mate? Move! Tracking and remote sensing data are making it easier to locate organisms and find out what they are up to. However, general theories of movement are lacking. In a special feature on Movement Ecology in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers present integrative models for movement of organisms as diverse as gut bacteria, tree seeds, ants, marine larvae and cheetahs.

"Our goal is to develop and test a general theoretical framework for movement that will integrate when, where, how and why organisms move, and will reveal the ecological and evolutionary consequences of movement," says Ran Nathan, research associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and associate professor of Evolution, Systematics and Ecology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

To ensure that mathematical models accurately predict real events, several have been developed and tested in complex tropical forest at the Smithsonian's Barro Colorado Island research station in Panama.

One of these is a new model for seed dispersal by wind, which accurately predicts tree seed movement under a wide range of conditions. Because trees can't simply pull up their roots and move in response to climate change or other threats, accurate modeling of tree seed dispersal has major implications for conservation across fragmented ecosystems and for understanding biological diversity.

"We add two entirely new things to this model: First, we consider dispersal in two dimensions, so that we can tell how close seeds fall to siblings who are potential competitors and sources of pests and disease. Previous investigators only considered the distance seeds moved," said S. Joseph Wright, staff scientist at the Smithsonian in Panama. "In the end, we show that the direction of a seed's fall can compensate for large differences in distance moved: the ability of individual seeds and whole groups of trees to move across a landscape is a result of trade-offs with other traits that affect their survival."

The Movement Ecology special feature also includes links to Movebank, an online data repository developed by researchers who would like to contribute and have access to animal tracking data. Movebank is the brainchild of Roland Kays, curator of mammals at the New York Museum in Albany; Martin Wikelski, director of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology; Tony Fountain, director of the Knowledge and Information Discovery Lab and Sameer Tilak, member of the Cyberinfrastructure Lab for Environmental Observing Systems at the UC San Diego Supercomputer Center.

Wikelski and Kays are also research associates at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, where they set up a multi-user Automated Radio Telemetry System on the large forest dynamics plot on Barro Colorado Island. The system tracks up to 200 animals, seeds or other moving objects around the clock, and makes data available on the Web.

Sensor systems mounted on satellites and on the ground will deliver increasing quantities of information about the changing location of organisms through time. An integrated Movement Ecology paradigm strengthens the ability of researchers to decide which information matters from a biological point of view and to make predictions essential to understanding phenomena from the spread of infectious diseases to habitat use by migratory birds.


'/>"/>

Contact: Beth King
kingb@si.edu
703-487-3770 x8216
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Population movements and money remittances spur forest regrowth
2. Leaderless movement proves illusive
3. Social standing influences elephant movement
4. Northwestern study looks at sensing, movement and behavior
5. Evolution tied to Earth movement
6. Tracking influenzas every movement
7. Research measures movement of nanomaterials in simple model food chain
8. Discovery of a mechanism that regulates cell movement
9. Caltech neurobiologists discover individuals who hear movement
10. Paleozoic sediment curve provides new tool for tracking sea-floor sediment movements
11. Scientists identify a molecule that coordinates the movement of cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New movement models tested at the Smithsonian in Panama
(Date:1/26/2017)... 26, 2017  Acuity Market Intelligence today released ... Digital Identity".  Acuity characterizes 2017 as a "breakout" ... adoption reflects a new understanding of the potential ... and digital identity are often perceived as threats ... , Principal of Acuity Market intelligence. "However, taken ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... Jan. 24, 2017 Biopharm Reports has ... laboratory use of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). ... and profiled current practices, developments, trends and end-user ... as growth and opportunities. These areas include growth ... instruments, needs and innovation requirements, hyphenated NMR techniques, ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... , Jan. 23, 2017  The latest mobile market ... prices have dropped dramatically. The quarterly average price of ... to $276 in Q4 2016.  There are now 120 ... of $116, up from just 28 a year ago ... According to Maxine Most , Acuity Market Intelligence ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... 2017  MIODx announced today that it has ... technologies from the University of California, San Francisco ... monitor a patient for response to immune checkpoint ... second license extends the technology with a method ... have an immune-related adverse event (IRAE) from their ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 2017  Imanis Life Sciences announced today the ... vaccinia viruses for virotherapy research. These viruses are ... proprietary, vaccinia virus-based technology platform for research use. ... a partnership with Genelux to offer researchers, for ... use in research," said Dr. Kah Whye ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... 12th annual Inventors Recognition Reception at Purdue Research Park of West ... member in recognition of outstanding contributions to, and success with, commercializing discoveries from ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAPR), ... medical conditions, today announced that Linda Marb├ín, Ph.D, president and ... investor conferences: Cowen and Company 37th ... am ET Boston, MA ... 9:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET) Dana Point, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: