Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Home, Home On The Range: How Much Space Does An Animal Really Need?

Date:
October 5, 2006
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Instead of wandering around aimlessly, most animals tend to stay in a certain area -- known as their home range. Understanding an animal's home range has been a central focus of ecological research since Darwin's time. But while explaining why different sized species need different amounts of space is relatively easy, a study from the October issue of the American Naturalist tackles a much more complex question: What determines differences in home range size among individuals of one species?

A territorial male during the summer rut in a grassland; animals were marked with uniquely colored collars fitted with a radio tag and a whip antenna.
Credit: Courtesy R. Del Guerra

Instead of wandering around aimlessly, most animals tend to stay in a certain area --known as their home range. Understanding an animal's home range has been a central focus of ecological research since Darwin's time. But while explaining why different sized species need different amounts of space is relatively easy, a study from the October issue of The American Naturalist tackles a much more complex question: what determines differences in home range size among individuals of one species?

Luca Bφrger (Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus, University of Cambridge, and Universita di Siena) and his colleagues spent four years monitoring the movements of a roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) population in the Maremma Regional Park in southern Tuscany. They found that animal home ranges are an outcome of complex interactions between the behaviour of the animals and the environment.

"By incorporating the different layers of 'complexity' we found a simple explanation for our deer, which contrasts with several common assumptions about roe deer behavior," Bφrger explains.

Neighboring animals differ in the amount of area they use depending on the most abundant habitat type inside their home range. The deer also respond to day length, with small home ranges in the summer and larger areas in autumn and winter.

"Yet, if it rains less or it is hotter than usual, the animals range over wider or smaller areas, depending on the habitat they are in," adds Novella Franconi (Universita de Siena).

The method can be applied for facilitating comparisons across populations and species. "This is not only of scientific interest," concludes Tim Coulson (Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus), "but is increasingly important to manage the effects of climate change and habitat alterations on animal populations."

Founded in 1867, The American Naturalist is one of the world's most renowned, peer-reviewed publications in ecology, evolution, and population and integrative biology research. AN emphasizes sophisticated methodologies and innovative theoretical syntheses--all in an effort to advance the knowledge of organic evolution and other broad biological principles.

Luca Bφrger, Novella Franconi, Francesco Ferretti, Fiora Meschi, Giampiero De Michele, Alberto Gantz, Tim Coulson, "An integrated approach to identify spatio-temporal and individual-level determinants of animal home range size." The American Naturalist 167:10.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Home, Home On The Range: How Much Space Does An Animal Really Need?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061002214849.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2006, October 5). Home, Home On The Range: How Much Space Does An Animal Really Need?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061002214849.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Home, Home On The Range: How Much Space Does An Animal Really Need?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061002214849.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) — The best funny internet cat videos are honoured at LA's Feline Film Festival. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) — The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Top 3 Outrageous Animal Stories Of The Week

Top 3 Outrageous Animal Stories Of The Week

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — This week's animal stories include a goldfish having surgery, a pizza chain giving out pets, and a tiger found on the side of the road. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins