Experimental evidence for inherent Lévy search behaviour in foraging animals.
de Jager, Monique
Weerman, Ellen J.
Hengeveld, Geerten M.
Nolet, Bart A.
van de Koppel, Johan
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences; 5/22/2015, Vol. 282 Issue 1807, p1-1, 1p
Recently, Lévy walks have been put forward as a new paradigm for animal search and many cases have been made for its presence in nature. However, it remains debated whether Lévy walks are an inherent behavioural strategy or emerge from the animal reacting to its habitat. Here, we demonstrate signatures of Lévy behaviour in the search movement of mud snails (Hydrobia ulvae) based on a novel, direct assessment of movement properties in an experimental set-up using different food distributions. Our experimental data uncovered clusters of small movement steps alternating with long moves independent of food encounter and landscape complexity. Moreover, size distributions of these clusters followed truncated power laws. These two findings are characteristic signatures of mechanisms underlying inherent Lévy-like movement. Thus, our study provides clear experimental evidence that such multi-scale movement is an inherent behaviour rather than resulting from the animal interacting with its environment. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Copyright of Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences is the property of Royal Society and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)