Moving to eat : animal foraging movements in a heterogeneous environment

G.M. Hengeveld

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


Animals moving from one place to another transport seeds, parasites, genes and grazing pressure. Insight in the spatial linkage between ecological processes can be gained from understanding the driving forces behind animal movement patterns. From this understanding predictions can be made about which patterns are most likely to be encountered. This thesis addresses the role of foraging in animal movement. Central is the study of the searching efficiency and diffusion of Lévy random searches, both through computer simulations and experiments with goats and ring doves. These computer simulations show that the interactions with targets are crucial in optimising Lévy random searches. Additionally, predictions are made about which foraging decisions animals should make in order to optimise their intake of several nutrients. Finally it is shown how different movement patterns can be incorporated in mean-field approaches of ecology.  
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Prins, Herbert, Promotor
  • van Langevelde, Frank, Co-promotor
Award date10 Sept 2007
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs9789085047186
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2007


  • foraging
  • heterogeneity
  • feeding behaviour
  • spatial variation
  • food intake
  • movement
  • animals
  • searching behaviour


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