Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Wyoming
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Abrahms, B., Aikens, E. O., Armstrong, J. B., Deacy, W. W., Kauffman, M. J., and Merkle, J. A. (2021). Emerging perspectives on resource tracking and animal movement ecology. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 36(4), 308-320.


Resource tracking, where animals increase energy gain by moving to track phenological variation in resources across space, is emerging as a fundamental attribute of animal movement ecology. However, a theoretical framework to understand when and where resource tracking should occur, and how resource tracking should lead to emergent ecological patterns, is lacking. We present a framework that unites concepts from optimal foraging theory and landscape ecology, which can be used to generate and test predictions on how resource dynamics shape animal movement across taxa, systems, and scales. Consideration of the interplay between animal movement and resource dynamics not only advances ecological understanding but can also guide biodiversity conservation in an era of global change.