Life in a moving world : scaling movement ecology from species traits to communities
This thesis studies the trait-based mechanisms of movement and their relevance for natural movement patterns to help making profound predictions on the consequences of movement for species interactions and community patterns and thereby fosters the synthesis and general analysis of big data. First, it develops a mechanistic model of how the maximum speed of running, flying, and swimming animals scales with body mass and explains why the largest animals are not the fastest. Second, it provides a first general allometric scaling relationship of exploratory (voluntary) speed of invertebrates across different feeding types and broad taxonomic groups of invertebrates. Third, it advances the concept of trophic niches of mammalian predators from simple prey ranges to two-dimensional prey spaces by including body mass as well as maximum speed as key drivers. Fourth, it offers a conceptual framework of how to integrate species traits into animal movement models to generate movement trajectories within a realistic and species specific spatial scale that help predict species-interaction traits as well as large-scale biodiversity patterns in fragmented landscapes. Thus, this thesis demonstrates the importance of understanding the general determinants of movement to make predictions from small-scale movement parameters to large-scale movement patterns and their consequences for species interactions and communities.