Navigating the flow: individual and continuum models for homing in flowing environments

Kevin J Painter, Thomas Hillen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Navigation for aquatic and airborne species often takes place in the face of complicated flows, from persistent currents to highly unpredictable storms. Hydrodynamic models are capable of simulating flow dynamics and provide the impetus for much individual-based modelling, in which particle-sized individuals are immersed into a flowing medium. These models yield insights on the impact of currents on population distributions from fish eggs to large organisms, yet their computational demands and intractability reduce their capacity to generate the broader, less parameter-specific, insights allowed by traditional continuous approaches. In this paper, we formulate an individual-based model for navigation within a flowing field and apply scaling to derive its corresponding macroscopic and continuous model. We apply it to various movement classes, from drifters that simply go with the flow to navigators that respond to environmental orienteering cues. The utility of the model is demonstrated via its application to 'homing' problems and, in particular, the navigation of the marine green turtle Chelonia mydas to Ascension Island.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20150647
Number of pages14
JournalInterface
Volume12
Issue number112
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015

Keywords

  • multiscale models
  • animal navigation
  • wind and ocean currents
  • island homing
  • TURTLES CHELONIA-MYDAS
  • LOGGERHEAD SEA-TURTLES
  • ASCENSION-ISLAND
  • GREEN TURTLES
  • CIRCULATION MODEL
  • ANIMAL BEHAVIOR
  • OCEAN CURRENTS
  • MARINE TURTLES
  • RANDOM-WALK
  • MIGRATION

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