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Mov Ecol. 2013 Aug 5;1(1):6. doi: 10.1186/2051-3933-1-6. eCollection 2013.

Integrating movement ecology with biodiversity research - exploring new avenues to address spatiotemporal biodiversity dynamics.

Author information

1
Department of Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation, Intitute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Maulbeerallee 2, 14469 Potsdam, Germany ; Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research (BBIB), Berlin, D-14195 Germany.
2
Department of Biology, Ghent University, K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35, Gent, 9000 Belgium.
3
Department of Conservation Biology, UFZ - Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Permoserstr 15, Leipzig, 04318 Germany.
4
Biogeographical Modelling, BayCEER, University of Bayreuth, Universitätsstr. 30, Bayreuth, 95447 Germany ; Irstea, UR EMGR Écosystèmes Montagnards, 2 rue de la Papeterie-BP 76, St-Martin-d'Hères, F-38402 France.
5
National Zoological Park, Smithsonian, Conservation Biology Institute, 1500 Remount Road, Front Royal, VA 22630 USA.
6
Department of Forest Zoology and Forest Conservation, University of Göttingen, Buesgenweg 3, Göttingen, 37077 Germany.
7
Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research (BBIB), Berlin, D-14195 Germany ; Landscape Ecology, Technische Universität München, Emil-Ramann-Str. 6, 85354 Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany ; Environmental Systems Analysis, Institute of Geoecology, Technical University of Braunschweig, Langer Kamp 19c, Braunschweig, 38106 Germany.
8
Department of Landscape Ecology, UFZ - Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Permoserstr. 15, Leipzig, 04318 Germany.
9
National Zoological Park, Smithsonian, Conservation Biology Institute, 1500 Remount Road, Front Royal, VA 22630 USA ; Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 USA.
10
Department of Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation, Intitute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Maulbeerallee 2, 14469 Potsdam, Germany.
11
Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F), Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, Senckenberganlage 25, Frankfurt (Main), 60325 Germany ; Department of Biological Sciences, Goethe Universität, Max-von-Laue-Straße 9, Frankfurt (Main), 60438 Germany.
12
Department of Ecological Modelling, Helmholz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Permoserstr. 15, Leipzig, 04318 Germany.
13
Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research (BBIB), Berlin, D-14195 Germany ; Department of Animal Ecology, Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, Universität Potsdam, Maulbeerallee 1, Potsdam, 14469 Germany.
14
Department of Evolutionary Ecology, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V., Alfred-Kowalke-Str. 17, Berlin, 10315 Germany.
15
Department of Animal Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), P.O. Box 50, Wageningen, AB 6700 The Netherlands ; Swiss Ornithological Institute, Seerose 1, Sempach, 6204 Switzerland.

Abstract

Movement of organisms is one of the key mechanisms shaping biodiversity, e.g. the distribution of genes, individuals and species in space and time. Recent technological and conceptual advances have improved our ability to assess the causes and consequences of individual movement, and led to the emergence of the new field of 'movement ecology'. Here, we outline how movement ecology can contribute to the broad field of biodiversity research, i.e. the study of processes and patterns of life among and across different scales, from genes to ecosystems, and we propose a conceptual framework linking these hitherto largely separated fields of research. Our framework builds on the concept of movement ecology for individuals, and demonstrates its importance for linking individual organismal movement with biodiversity. First, organismal movements can provide 'mobile links' between habitats or ecosystems, thereby connecting resources, genes, and processes among otherwise separate locations. Understanding these mobile links and their impact on biodiversity will be facilitated by movement ecology, because mobile links can be created by different modes of movement (i.e., foraging, dispersal, migration) that relate to different spatiotemporal scales and have differential effects on biodiversity. Second, organismal movements can also mediate coexistence in communities, through 'equalizing' and 'stabilizing' mechanisms. This novel integrated framework provides a conceptual starting point for a better understanding of biodiversity dynamics in light of individual movement and space-use behavior across spatiotemporal scales. By illustrating this framework with examples, we argue that the integration of movement ecology and biodiversity research will also enhance our ability to conserve diversity at the genetic, species, and ecosystem levels.

KEYWORDS:

Biodiversity conservation; Community dynamics; Individual based modeling; Landscape genetics; Long distance movement; Mobile links; Species coexistence

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