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:2/2/2016)... 2, 2016 This BCC Research report ... by reviewing the recent advances in high throughput ... the field forward. Includes forecast through 2019. ... challenges and opportunities that exist in the bioinformatic ... developers, as well as IT and bioinformatics service ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... 2016 Rising sales of consumer ... touchfree intuitive gesture control market size ... of consumer electronics coupled with new technological advancements to ... size through 2020   --> ... technological advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture control ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... BELL, Pa. , Jan. 25, 2016   Unisys Corporation ... recognition system at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, ... Border Protection (CBP) identify imposters attempting to enter ... do not belong to them. pilot testing of ... out initially at three terminals at JFK during January 2016. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... that it has joined the Human Vaccines Project, a public-private partnership to ... cancer. , The Human Vaccines Project brings together leading pharmaceutical and ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  Allergan plc (NYSE: ... that Brent Saunders , Allergan,s CEO and President, ... fireside chat session at the RBC Capital Markets Healthcare ... ET at The New York Palace Hotel in ... be webcast live and can be accessed on Allergan,s ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Benchmark Research, a fully-integrated network ... two long-standing principal investigators (PI) to the roles of Chief Medical Officer, Clinical ... Dr. Laurence Chu, a Benchmark Research PI in the Austin office, will assume ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... ... LATHAM, NEW YORK... Marktech Optoelectronics will feature their new high-speed InGaAs ... Moscone Center from February 16-18, 2016, and at the healthcare-focused BiOS Expo on February ... standard packages feature a TO-46 metal can with active areas of 1.0mm and 1.5mm ...
Breaking Biology Technology: