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Smoothing Splines of Apex Predator Movement: Functional modeling strategies for exploring animal behavior and social interactions
  • Andrew Whetten
Andrew Whetten
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
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Abstract

The collection of animal position data via GPS tracking devices has increased in quality and usage in recent years. Animal position and movement, although measured discretely, follows the same principles of kinematic motion, and as such, the process is inherently continuous and differentiable. I demonstrate the functionality and visual elegance of smoothing spline models. I discuss the challenges and benefits of implementing such an approach, and I provide an analysis of movement and social interaction of seven jaguars inhabiting the Taiamã Ecological Station, Pantanal, Brazil. In the analysis, I derive measures for pairwise distance, cooccurence and spatiotemporal associaton between jaguars, borrowing ideas from density estimation and information theory. These measures are feasible as a result of spline model estimation, and they provide a critical tool for a deeper investigation of cooccurence duration, frequency, and localized spatio-temporal relationships between animals.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

01 Aug 2021Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
04 Aug 2021Submission Checks Completed
04 Aug 2021Assigned to Editor
06 Aug 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
23 Aug 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
01 Sep 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
07 Sep 20211st Revision Received
07 Sep 2021Submission Checks Completed
07 Sep 2021Assigned to Editor
07 Sep 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
07 Sep 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
30 Sep 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
08 Oct 20212nd Revision Received
09 Oct 2021Submission Checks Completed
09 Oct 2021Assigned to Editor
09 Oct 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
13 Oct 2021Editorial Decision: Accept