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Suite of simple metrics reveals common movement syndromes across vertebrate taxa.

Abstract

Our results offer early indication of widespread recurrent patterns in movement ecology that have consistent statistical signatures, regardless of taxon, body size, mode of movement, or environment. We further show that a simple set of metrics can be used to classify broad-scale movement patterns in disparate vertebrate taxa. Our comparative approach provides a general framework for quantifying and classifying animal movements, and facilitates new inquiries into relationships between movement syndromes and other ecological processes.

Two principal components explained 70% of the variance among the movement metrics we evaluated across the thirteen species, and were used for the cluster analysis. The resulting analysis revealed four statistically distinct clusters. All simulated individuals of each idealized movement syndrome organized into separate clusters, suggesting that the four clusters are explained by common movement syndrome.

representing suites of correlated movement traits observed across taxa (migration, nomadism, territoriality, and central place foraging).

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