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Estimates for energy expenditure in free‐living animals using acceleration proxies; a reappraisal / Rory P Wilson; Luca Börger; Mark D. Holton; D. Michael Scantlebury; Agustina Gómez‐Laich; Flavio Quintana; Frank Rosell; Patricia M. Graf; Hannah Williams; Richard Gunner; Lloyd Hopkins; Nikki Marks; Nathan R. Geraldi; Carlos M. Duarte; Rebecca Scott; Michael S. Strano; Hermina Robotka; Christophe Eizaguirre; Andreas Fahlman; Emily L. C. Shepard
Journal of Animal Ecology
Swansea University Author: Shepard, Emily
Accepted Manuscript under embargo until: 7th June 2020
It is fundamentally important for many animal ecologists to quantify the costs of animal activities, although this is not straightforward. The recording of triaxial acceleration by animal-attached devices has been proposed as a way forward for this, with the specific suggestion that dynamic body acc...
|Published in:||Journal of Animal Ecology|
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It is fundamentally important for many animal ecologists to quantify the costs of animal activities, although this is not straightforward. The recording of triaxial acceleration by animal-attached devices has been proposed as a way forward for this, with the specific suggestion that dynamic body acceleration (DBA) be used as a proxy for movement-based power. DBA has now been validated frequently, both in the laboratory and in the field, although the literature still shows that some aspects of DBA theory and practice are misunderstood. Here we examine the theory behind DBA and employ modelling approaches to assess factors that affect the link between DBA and energy expenditure, from the deployment of the tag, through to the calibration of DBA with energy use in laboratory and field settings. Using data from a range of species and movement modes, we illustrate that vectorial and additive DBA metrics are proportional to each-other. Either can be used as a proxy for energy, and summed to estimate total energy expended over a given period, or divided by time to give a proxy for movement-related metabolic power. Nonetheless, we highlight how the ability of DBA to predict metabolic rate declines as the contribution of non-movement related factors, such as heat production, increases. Overall, DBA seems to be a substantive proxy for movement-based power but consideration of other movement-related metrics, such as the Static Body Acceleration and the rate of change of body pitch and roll, may enable researchers to refine movement-based metabolic costs, particularly in animals where movement is not characterized by marked changes in body acceleration.
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