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Evidence for a pervasive 'idling-mode' activity template in flying and pedestrian insects

Evidence for a pervasive 'idling-mode' activity template in flying and pedestrian insects

Reynolds, Andrew M., Jones, Hayley B.C., Hill, Jane K., Pearson, Aislinn J., Wilson, Kenneth, Wolf, Stephan, Lim, Ka S., Reynolds, Don R. and Chapman, Jason W. (2015) Evidence for a pervasive 'idling-mode' activity template in flying and pedestrian insects. Royal Society Open Science, 2 (5). p. 150085. ISSN 2054-5703 (Print), 2054-5703 (Online) (doi:10.1098/rsos.150085)

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Abstract

Understanding the complex movement patterns of animals in natural environments is a key objective of ‘movement ecology’. Complexity results from behavioural responses to external stimuli but can also arise spontaneously in their absence. Drawing on theoretical arguments about decision-making circuitry, we predict that the spontaneous patterns will be scale-free and universal, being independent of taxon and mode of locomotion. To test this hypothesis, we examined the activity patterns of the European honeybee, and multiple species of noctuid moth, tethered to flight mills and exposed to minimal external cues. We also reanalysed pre-existing data for Drosophila flies walking in featureless environments. Across these species, we found evidence of common scale-invariant properties in their movement patterns; pause and movement durations were typically power law distributed over a range of scales and characterized by exponents close to 3/2. Our analyses are suggestive of the presence of a pervasive scale-invariant template for locomotion which, when acted on by environmental cues, produces the movements with characteristic scales observed in nature. Our results indicate that scale-finite complexity as embodied, for instance, in correlated random walk models, may be the result of environmental cues overriding innate behaviour, and that scale-free movements may be intrinsic and not limited to ‘blind’ foragers as previously thought.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Acknowledgements (funding): Rothamsted research receives grant aided support from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. S.W. was funded jointly by a grant from BBSRC, Defra, NERC, the Scottish Government and the Wellcome Trust, under the Insect Pollinators Initiative (grant nos. BB/I00097/1). A.J.P.was funded by a BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership in Food Security awarded to K.W. and J.W.C. H.B.C.J. was funded by a BBSRC Quota studentship awarded to J.W.C. and J.K.H. [2] Data accessibility. Data has been deposited at Dryad: doi:10.5061/dryad.4b3cd. [3] Cite this article: Reynolds AM, Jones HBC, Hill JK, Pearson AJ, Wilson K, Wolf S, LimKS, Reynolds DR, Chapman JW. 2015 Evidence for a pervasive ‘idling-mode’ activity template in flying and pedestrian insects. R. Soc. open sci. 2: 150085. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.150085 [3] Copyright & Usage: (c) 2015 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited. [4] Electronic supplementary material is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.150085 or via http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org.
Uncontrolled Keywords: spontaneous movement patterns, intermittent locomotion, behavioural bursts, Lévy flights, power-law distributions
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2016 16:53
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/13737

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