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Experimental evidence for inherent Lévy search behaviour in foraging animals
Kölzsch, A.; Alzate, A.; Bartumeus, F.; de Jager, M.; Weerman, E.; Hengeveld, G.M.; Naguib, M.; Nolet, B.A.; Van de Koppel, J. (2015). Experimental evidence for inherent Lévy search behaviour in foraging animals. Proc. - Royal Soc., Biol. Sci. 282(1807): 20150424.
In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B. The Royal Society: London. ISSN 0962-8452, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

    Hydrobia ulvae (Pennant, 1777) [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    Le´vy walk, multi-scale search behaviour, composite Brownian motion, area-restricted search cluster, landscape heterogeneity, Hydrobia ulvae

Authors  Top 
  • Kölzsch, A.
  • Alzate, A.
  • Bartumeus, F.
  • de Jager, M., more
  • Weerman, E., more
  • Hengeveld, G.M.
  • Naguib, M.
  • Nolet, B.A.
  • Van de Koppel, J., more

    Recently, Lévy walks have been put forward as a new paradigm for animal search and many cases have been made for its presence in nature. However, it remains debated whether Lévy walks are an inherent behavioural strategy or emerge from the animal reacting to its habitat. Here, we demonstrate signatures of Lévy behaviour in the search movement of mud snails (Hydrobia ulvae) based on a novel, direct assessment of movement properties in an experimental set-up using different food distributions. Our experimental data uncovered clusters of small movement steps alternating with long moves independent of food encounter and landscape complexity. Moreover, size distributions of these clusters followed truncated power laws. These two findings are characteristic signatures of mechanisms underlying inherent Lévy-like movement. Thus, our study provides clear experimental evidence that such multi-scale movement is an inherent behaviour rather than resulting from the animal interacting with its environment

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