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The role of wingbeat frequency and amplitude in flight power

Krishnamoorthy Krishnan, Baptiste Garde, Ashley Bennison, Nik C. Cole, Emma Cole, Jamie Darby Orcid Logo, Kyle H. Elliott Orcid Logo, Adam Fell, Agustina Gómez-Laich, Sophie de Grissac, Mark Jessopp Orcid Logo, Manos Lempidakis, Yuichi Mizutani Orcid Logo, Aurélien Prudor, Michael Quetting, Flavio Quintana Orcid Logo, Hermina Robotka Orcid Logo, Alexandre Roulin Orcid Logo, Peter G. Ryan, Kim Schalcher, Stefan Schoombie, Vikash Tatayah, Fred Tremblay, Henri Weimerskirch, Shannon Whelan Orcid Logo, Martin Wikelski, Ken Yoda, Anders Hedenström Orcid Logo, Emily Shepard Orcid Logo

Journal of The Royal Society Interface, Volume: 19, Issue: 193

Swansea University Authors: Krishnamoorthy Krishnan, Baptiste Garde, Emma Cole, Manos Lempidakis, Emily Shepard Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1098/rsif.2022.0168

Abstract

Body-mounted accelerometers provide a new prospect for estimating power use in flying birds, as the signal varies with the two major kinematic determinants of aerodynamic power: wingbeat frequency and amplitude. Yet wingbeat frequency is sometimes used as a proxy for power output in isolation. There...

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Published in: Journal of The Royal Society Interface
ISSN: 1742-5662
Published: The Royal Society 2022
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa61007
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Abstract: Body-mounted accelerometers provide a new prospect for estimating power use in flying birds, as the signal varies with the two major kinematic determinants of aerodynamic power: wingbeat frequency and amplitude. Yet wingbeat frequency is sometimes used as a proxy for power output in isolation. There is, therefore, a need to understand which kinematic parameter birds vary and whether this is predicted by flight mode (e.g. accelerating, ascending/descending flight), speed or morphology. We investigate this using high-frequency acceleration data from (i) 14 species flying in the wild, (ii) two species flying in controlled conditions in a wind tunnel and (iii) a review of experimental and field studies. While wingbeat frequency and amplitude were positively correlated, R2 values were generally low, supporting the idea that parameters can vary independently. Indeed, birds were more likely to modulate wingbeat amplitude for more energy-demanding flight modes, including climbing and take-off. Nonetheless, the striking variability, even within species and flight types, highlights the complexity of describing the kinematic relationships, which appear sensitive to both the biological and physical context. Notwithstanding this, acceleration metrics that incorporate both kinematic parameters should be more robust proxies for power than wingbeat frequency alone.
Keywords: energy expenditure, accelerometry, kinematics,bio-logging, movement ecology
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Funders: This work was supported by European Research Council star-ter grant no. 715874 to E.L.C.S., under the European Union’s Horizon2020 research and innovation programme. Rory Wilson supplied thetags that were used for data collection in the studies on imperial cor-morants, wandering albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses andstreaked shearwaters. Fieldwork on northern fulmars was supportedby the BlueFish project, funded by the European RegionalDevelopment fund through the Ireland Wales Co-operation Pro-gramme (2014−2020) and an extended field team. Fieldwork onnorthern gannets was supported by the FishKOSM project fundedby the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (15/S/744).The wind tunnel experiments at Lund University were supportedby the Swedish Research Council (2016-03625) and A.H. LinusHedh helped training the dunlin for wind tunnel flight. Data collec-tion in the Max Planck wind tunnel was supported by a Max PlanckSabbatical Fellowship (to E.L.C.S.). Fieldwork on black-legged kitti-wakes was assisted by the Middleton Island Field Crew of 2019.Funding for Brünnich’s guillemot and black-legged kittiwake workwas partially from the Natural Sciences and Engineering ResearchCouncil of Canada (to K.H.E.). Fieldwork on the barn owls wasfunded by Swiss National Science Foundation (310030, 200321 toA.R.). We thank the National Parks and Conservation Service, theGovernment of Mauritius, for permission to conduct the fieldworkon the red-tailed tropicbirds and the Round Island Wardens fortheir support in the field. Research in Japan was funded by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society of the Promotionof Science (16K21735, 16H06541, 21H05294 to K.Y.). We also thankGil Bohrer for essential help in setting up the sonic anemometer forin-flight measurements of air movement.
Issue: 193