Successes and failures of movement ecology


The field of movement ecology has experienced unprecedented growth in the last decade. Fundamental questions about movement can now be tackled thanks to the development of biologging devices (e.g. GPS) that allow tracking animals and humans. A decade ago, a framework was proposed for the study of movement ecology, as a first step for an integrative theory of organism movement (Nathan et al. 2008). This movement ecology framework (MEF) has been recognized in the literature as a milestone in the field. In this work, we thoroughly investigated the field, and summarized the successes and failures of Movement Ecology in the last decade. We reviewed more than 8,000 movement ecology papers using quantitative and computational approaches such as text mining and network analysis.
Successes: In the last decade, there has been an increasing trend in the number of publications in movement ecology (from around 400 papers in 2008 to 1,100 in 2018), a diversity in the types of tracking devices with increasing use of high resolution technologies such as accelerometers and video cameras, and a proliferation of R packages specifically created to process and analyze movement data.
Failures: We show that we are still focusing on the same aspects of movement (external factors affecting movement, 77% of the papers) and neglecting the same aspects of movement (e.g. navigation, 9% of the papers) than a decade ago. We present some possible reasons for this phenomenon.
We end the presentation with an open question about the future of movement ecology, asking if technology will continue to be the driving force in the field, or if the field will rather transform, embrace the MEF and face the challenges of interdisciplinarity.

Virtual (was Salt Lake City, UT)

Watch the full video (with audio stream) below, or browse the slides directly (without audio).

Reference: Joo R., Picardi S., Boone M., Clay T., Clusella-Trullas S., Patrick S. & Basille M. (2020) Successes and failures of movement ecology. 104th Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting 2020, Virtual meeting.