PerspectiveEcology

Why Did You Lévy?

Science  24 Jun 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6037, pp. 1514-1515
DOI: 10.1126/science.1208445

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Summary

Nature is full of biological landscapes that seem static to the casual observer, but actually contain highly dynamic spatial features. These features are shaped dramatically, if slowly, by subtle interplays between large-scale population-level patterns and small-scale movements of individual organisms. For spatial ecologists, a challenging aspect of such landscapes is the chicken-and-egg character of the underlying interactions: Organism movements are dictated by the environment, but the environment is strongly affected by organism movements. On page 1551 of this issue, de Jager et al. (1) reveal how, for mussels in patchy intertidal beds, the ecology of dynamic spatial patterns and the evolution of movement strategies are tightly linked.

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