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Ontogenetic Shifts in How Grasshoppers Interact with Landscape Structure: An Analysis of Movement Patterns
K. A. With
Vol. 8, No. 4 (Aug., 1994), pp. 477-485
Published by: British Ecological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2390072
Page Count: 9
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1. Patterns of animal movement provide a spatial record of how organisms interact with landscape structure. 2. Although species may differ in absolute measures of movement (e.g. net displacement), they may nevertheless interact with landscape structure in similar ways. Fractal analysis affords a scale-independent measure that assesses pattern structure across a range of spatial scales. Similarities in the fractal geometry of movement pathways therefore indicate that species are interacting with landscape structure in similar ways. 3. Within a species, different life stages may possess different perceptions of landscape structure. To test this idea, I examined how developmental stages of a gomphocerine grasshopper (Orthoptera, Acrididae), Opeia obscura, interacted with microlandscape structure in a grassland mosaic. 4. Adults moved two to six times farther and were more strongly influenced by microlandscape structure than were nymphs. The fractal dimensions of movement pathways (an index of pattern complexity) differed significantly between life stages, indicating that adults and nymphs interacted with landscape structure in different ways. 5. Nymphs traverse the landscape in a different manner to adults: nymphs leap between discrete vegetative structures (e.g. grass blades), whereas adults move across the plane of the landscape. Nymphs thus possess a finer perceptual grain of landscape structure; nymphs move at slower rates and can resolve small-scale details. Adults move at faster rates across the mosaic, and may operate at a greater spatial extent than nymphs.
Functional Ecology © 1994 British Ecological Society