Movement: A fundamental function of life on earth

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A new open access journal, Movement Ecology, has launched today with BioMed Central. The journal will publish articles across all taxa and relating to any movement phenomena addressing important research questions on the patterns, mechanisms, causes and consequences of organismal movement.

Image credit Marcin Szala wikimedia

Movement is a fundamental function shared by all living organisms, although how, where, why and when they move differs enormously. The movement of organisms is central to many important themes in current research, including global warming, habitat fragmentation, epidemiology and species invasions. Thanks to a number of recent breakthroughs in technology, data analysis and conceptual frameworks, this field can now expand and evolve further, with the aim of developing a unifying theory of organismal movement. The importance of this research can be seen in the rapid increase in published articles on this topic over time, regularly featured in high impact journals such as Science, and PNAS.

Image credit Yathin-sk wikimedia

Interdisciplinary collaboration is a central theme to movement ecology research, and this is reflected by the shared leadership of the journal between co-Editors-in-Chief, Ran Nathan, who is a pioneer of the movement ecology paradigm, and ecological mathematician Luca Giuggioli. An editorial was published at launch by the Editors-in-Chief, introducing the central themes of the journal.

Also published at launch were three high quality articles, providing just a glimpse of the breadth of scope of this journal. Lyons et al. developed and tested a new tool for analysing movement data, illustrating this on springbok in Namibia. Dodge et al. present a new system for matching movement tracks with environmental variables. Finally, Safi et al.show that GPS tag data can provide better predictions of direction and speed than inferring details from the next location, testing this on nine species of bird.

Image credit Nevit Dilmen wikimedia

Why animals migrate; how seeds disperse; how organisms find food within their environments. These remain pivotal questions important to ecologists, and are all addressed by the emerging ecological paradigm of movement ecology, around which this journal is focussed.

You can sign up for article alerts from Movement Ecology here. For more information please visit the journal website or contact the Editorial Office.