Modelling the movement of a soil insect
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of Theoretical Biology
We use a linear autoregressive model to describe the movement of a soil-living insect, Protaphorura armata (Collembola). Models of this kind can be viewed as extensions of a random walk, but unlike a correlated random walk, in which the speed and turning angles are independent, our model identifies and expresses the correlations between the turning angles and a variable speed. Our model uses data in x- and y-coordinates rather than in polar coordinates, which is useful for situations in which the resolution of the observations is limited. The movement of the insect was characterized by (i) looping behaviour due to autocorrelation and cross correlation in the velocity process and (ii) occurrence of periods of inactivity, which we describe with a Poisson random effects model. We also introduce obstacles to the environment to add structural heterogeneity to the movement process. We compare aspects such as loop shape, inter-loop time, holding angles at obstacles, net squared displacement, number, and duration of inactive periods between observed and predicted movement. The comparison demonstrates that our approach is relevant as a starting-point to predict behaviourally complex moving, e.g. systematic searching, in a heterogeneous landscape. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Biology and Life Sciences
- ISSN: 0022-5193
- ISSN: 1095-8541