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Title: A complex systems approach to the emergence of animal territoriality
Author: Potts, Jonathan R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 0052
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2012
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I present an agent-based model of animal movements and scent-mediated interactions whereby territories emerge as dynamic entities, though moving on a time-scale much slower than that of the animals. Simulation analysis suggests that the territory border movement depends upon the ratio of two quantities: the so-called active scent time, measuring how long olfactory cues are recognised by conspecifics as fresh, and the time it takes for an animal to cover its territory. By examining the interplay of adjacent territory boundaries, I give analytic insights into this dependence. I also construct an approximate analytic model of animal movement within dynamic territories that enables quantification of the active scent time from the location distribution of animals. Fitting this to data on a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) population before and after an outbreak of sarcoptic mange, I show how foxes change their behaviour as a result of rapid declines in population. Finally, I examine an extension of my model to the case where animals have fidelity towards a central place, such as a den or nest site. In this case, stable home ranges emerge from the territorial dynamics, enabling insights to be given into the mechanisms behind allometric scaling laws of space use. This thesis represents the first example of territorial emergence from a mechanistic model of individual-level movement and interaction processes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available