New publication: Moving in the Anthropocene: Global reductions in terrestrial mammalian movements

By Marlee A. Tucker et al. (Atle Mysterud*) in Science


Animal movement is fundamental for ecosystem functioning and species survival, yet the effects of the anthropogenic footprint on animal movements have not been estimated across species. Using a unique GPS-tracking database of 803 individuals across 57 species, we found that movements of mammals in areas with a comparatively high human footprint were on average one-half to one-third the extent of their movements in areas with a low human footprint. We attribute this reduction to behavioral changes of individual animals and to the exclusion of species with long-range movements from areas with higher human impact. Global loss of vagility alters a key ecological trait of animals that affects not only population persistence but also ecosystem processes such as predator-prey interactions, nutrient cycling, and disease transmission.

Science  26 Jan 2018
Vol. 359, Issue 6374, pp. 466-469
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam9712
Publication webpage.

* Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
See the publication webpage for full author information.

Tags: Science;
Published Jan. 30, 2018 3:21 PM - Last modified Jan. 30, 2018 3:21 PM