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computer model, fish, movement, swimming, territoriality


Question: Are there territory sizes, shapes, and movement rules that animals can use to maximize their presence for territorial and reproductive purposes? Features of the model: Individual-oriented simulation model of a focal male, a female (his mate), and six other males in adjacent territories. Simulation variables were territory size and aspect (length-to-width ratio), velocity, step size, and potential movement angle. Each simulation represented 10,000 s of real time, and simulations were repeated until convergence on maximum mean encounter rates (MER) of a focal male with the female and other males was reached. Ranges of variables: Simulations consisted of three velocities (0.05, 0.1, and 0.2 m·s−1), three step sizes (time between movement decisions of 0.5, 1, and 2 s), 18 movement angles (20, 40, 60, . . . 360), four territory sizes (1, 10, 100, 400 m2), and four territory aspects (1, 2, 4, 8). Conclusions: Random movement maximizes MER with a female only in small territories (e.g. 1 m2), but use of a simple correlated random walk strategy (‘trajectory-swimming’ in fishes) maximizes MER with both females and males for other territories, regardless of aspect. This form of movement also minimizes variability of MER; specifically, it gives a more reliable signal, or ‘truth in advertising’ of territoriality



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Brown T.R., Jowers J., & Lutnesky M.M.F. (2011). Simulation of spatial movement that potentially maximizes assessment, presence, and defence in territorial and home-ranging animals, with special reference to territorial sex-changing fishes. Evolutionary Ecology Research, 13(6), 571–588.



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