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|Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
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|abmAnimalMovement: An R package for simulating animal movement using an agent-based model
|Marshall, Benjamin Michael
Duthie, Alexander Bradley
|Marshall BM & Duthie AB (2022) abmAnimalMovement: An R package for simulating animal movement using an agent-based model. <i>F1000Research</i>, 11, Art. No.: 1182. https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.124810.1
|Animal movement datasets are growing in number and depth, and researchers require a growing number of analytical approaches to adequately answer questions using movement datasets. As the complexity of questions and analyses increase, deciding on the best approach both in terms of study design and analysis can become more difficult. A potential solution is to simulate an array of synthetic datasets under varying study designs and simulation parametrisations to gain insight into the impact of analysis choice(s) in different contexts. The abmAnimalMovement R package provides the means of simulating animal movement for this purpose. The abmAnimalMovement simulations use a discrete time agent-based model and does not require previous movement data as an input. The simulations include a number of key internal and external movement influences, as well as parameters for navigation and mobility capacity of the animal. Internal influences include three predefined behavioural states (e.g., rest, explore, forage) and any number of activity cycles (e.g., diel, seasonal). External influences are implemented via matrices describing landscape characteristics (e.g., shelter quality, foraging resources, movement ease), and predefined points describing shelter sites and points the animal aims to avoid. Navigation capacity is defined by the range the animal can dynamically choose a foraging location to which it is subsequently attracted. Mobility capacity is implemented by user defined distributions, from which step length and turn angles are draw at each time step, governing the possible subsequent locations of the animal. Critically, the navigation capacity (the choice of destination) operates on a different time scale to the mobility capacity, allowing the internal state of the animal to differ from the observed movements. When combined with other emergent properties, such as site fidelity generated via repeated shelter site use, the simulations offer opportunities to test whether movement analyses can accurately recover hidden mechanisms, states, and drivers. Keywords
|Copyright: © 2022 Marshall BM and Duthie AB. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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