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How do animal territories form and change? Lessons from 20 years of mechanistic modelling.

Potts JR, Lewis MA - Proc. Biol. Sci. (2014)

Bottom Line: At the population level, animals often segregate into distinct territorial areas.We detail the two main strands to this research: partial differential equations and individual-based approaches, showing what each has offered to our understanding of territoriality and how they can be unified.We explain how they are related to other approaches to studying territories and home ranges, and point towards possible future directions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Centre for Mathematical Biology, University of Alberta, , Edmonton, , Alberta, Canada , T6G 2G1, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, , Edmonton, , Alberta, Canada , T6G 2G1.

ABSTRACT
Territory formation is ubiquitous throughout the animal kingdom. At the individual level, various behaviours attempt to exclude conspecifics from regions of space. At the population level, animals often segregate into distinct territorial areas. Consequently, it should be possible to derive territorial patterns from the underlying behavioural processes of animal movements and interactions. Such derivations are an important element in the development of an ecological theory that can predict the effects of changing conditions on territorial populations. Here, we review the approaches developed over the past 20 years or so, which go under the umbrella of 'mechanistic territorial models'. We detail the two main strands to this research: partial differential equations and individual-based approaches, showing what each has offered to our understanding of territoriality and how they can be unified. We explain how they are related to other approaches to studying territories and home ranges, and point towards possible future directions.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Mechanistic territorial model applied to coyote populations. These relocationdata for coyote from different packs, denoted by different colours, are fittedusing the method of maximum-likelihood. The model posits that animals moverandomly and avoid foreign sent marks by moving back towards their den site ororganizing centre (triangles). The scent marks (not shown) have their owndynamics where there is a constant low level of marking, with foreign scentmarks causing an over-marking response. Full details of the model are given inMoorcroft et al. [13]. Reproduced with permission from Moorcroft etal. [13].(Online version in colour.)
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RSPB20140231F1: Mechanistic territorial model applied to coyote populations. These relocationdata for coyote from different packs, denoted by different colours, are fittedusing the method of maximum-likelihood. The model posits that animals moverandomly and avoid foreign sent marks by moving back towards their den site ororganizing centre (triangles). The scent marks (not shown) have their owndynamics where there is a constant low level of marking, with foreign scentmarks causing an over-marking response. Full details of the model are given inMoorcroft et al. [13]. Reproduced with permission from Moorcroft etal. [13].(Online version in colour.)

Mentions: Realistic models for animal territories must include multiple spatial dimensions, aswell as the spatial distribution of external factors, such as resource and topography. Asecond generation of sophisticated two-dimensional advection–diffusion models hasbeen developed so as to include these factors [15]. By using the method of maximum-likelihood toconnect the models with data, hypotheses about the factors driving territorial patternformation can be tested from the space-use patterns as measured by radiotelemetry data.This method was applied to test the role of scent-marking on coyote (Canislatrans) territorial patterns in the Hanford Arid Lands Ecosystem [13] (figure 1) and additional impacts of topography and preydistribution on these patterns in the Lamar Valley region of Yellowstone [14]. Here, the connection betweenadvection–diffusion models for territorial patterns and classical hypothesistesting is new, and it provides a powerful approach for connecting mechanistic movementmodels with data. Figure 1.


How do animal territories form and change? Lessons from 20 years of mechanistic modelling.

Potts JR, Lewis MA - Proc. Biol. Sci. (2014)

Mechanistic territorial model applied to coyote populations. These relocationdata for coyote from different packs, denoted by different colours, are fittedusing the method of maximum-likelihood. The model posits that animals moverandomly and avoid foreign sent marks by moving back towards their den site ororganizing centre (triangles). The scent marks (not shown) have their owndynamics where there is a constant low level of marking, with foreign scentmarks causing an over-marking response. Full details of the model are given inMoorcroft et al. [13]. Reproduced with permission from Moorcroft etal. [13].(Online version in colour.)
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4043092&req=5

RSPB20140231F1: Mechanistic territorial model applied to coyote populations. These relocationdata for coyote from different packs, denoted by different colours, are fittedusing the method of maximum-likelihood. The model posits that animals moverandomly and avoid foreign sent marks by moving back towards their den site ororganizing centre (triangles). The scent marks (not shown) have their owndynamics where there is a constant low level of marking, with foreign scentmarks causing an over-marking response. Full details of the model are given inMoorcroft et al. [13]. Reproduced with permission from Moorcroft etal. [13].(Online version in colour.)
Mentions: Realistic models for animal territories must include multiple spatial dimensions, aswell as the spatial distribution of external factors, such as resource and topography. Asecond generation of sophisticated two-dimensional advection–diffusion models hasbeen developed so as to include these factors [15]. By using the method of maximum-likelihood toconnect the models with data, hypotheses about the factors driving territorial patternformation can be tested from the space-use patterns as measured by radiotelemetry data.This method was applied to test the role of scent-marking on coyote (Canislatrans) territorial patterns in the Hanford Arid Lands Ecosystem [13] (figure 1) and additional impacts of topography and preydistribution on these patterns in the Lamar Valley region of Yellowstone [14]. Here, the connection betweenadvection–diffusion models for territorial patterns and classical hypothesistesting is new, and it provides a powerful approach for connecting mechanistic movementmodels with data. Figure 1.

Bottom Line: At the population level, animals often segregate into distinct territorial areas.We detail the two main strands to this research: partial differential equations and individual-based approaches, showing what each has offered to our understanding of territoriality and how they can be unified.We explain how they are related to other approaches to studying territories and home ranges, and point towards possible future directions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Centre for Mathematical Biology, University of Alberta, , Edmonton, , Alberta, Canada , T6G 2G1, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, , Edmonton, , Alberta, Canada , T6G 2G1.

ABSTRACT
Territory formation is ubiquitous throughout the animal kingdom. At the individual level, various behaviours attempt to exclude conspecifics from regions of space. At the population level, animals often segregate into distinct territorial areas. Consequently, it should be possible to derive territorial patterns from the underlying behavioural processes of animal movements and interactions. Such derivations are an important element in the development of an ecological theory that can predict the effects of changing conditions on territorial populations. Here, we review the approaches developed over the past 20 years or so, which go under the umbrella of 'mechanistic territorial models'. We detail the two main strands to this research: partial differential equations and individual-based approaches, showing what each has offered to our understanding of territoriality and how they can be unified. We explain how they are related to other approaches to studying territories and home ranges, and point towards possible future directions.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus