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Sci Rep. 2014 Mar 18;4:4409. doi: 10.1038/srep04409.

Mussels realize Weierstrassian Lévy walks as composite correlated random walks.

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Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, UK.


Composite correlated random walks (CCRW) have been posited as a potential replacement for Lévy walks and it has also been suggested that CCRWs have been mistaken for Lévy walks. Here I test an alternative, emerging hypothesis: namely that some organisms approximate Lévy walks as an innate CCRW. It is shown that the tri-modal CCRW found to describe accurately the movement patterns of mussels (Mytilus edulis) during spatial pattern formation in mussel beds can be regarded as being the first three levels in a hierarchy of nested movement patterns which if extended indefinitely would correspond to a Lévy walk whose characteristic (power-law) exponent is tuned to nearly minimize the time required to form patterned beds. The mussels realise this Lévy walk to good approximation across a biologically meaningful range of scales. This demonstrates that the CCRW not only describes mussel movement patterns, it explains them.

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