Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1111/2041-210X.14153
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) movedesign: Shiny R app to evaluate sampling design for animal movement studies
Author Silva, I.; Fleming, C.H.; Noonan, M.J.; Fagan, W.F.; Calabrese, J.M.
Source Titel Methods in Ecology and Evolution
Year 2023
Department OESA
Volume 14
Issue 9
Page From 2216
Page To 2225
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Data and Software links
Keywords highlight; biologgers; experimental design; GPS sampling; GPS tracking; home range; simulations; space use
  1. Projects focused on movement behaviour and home range are commonplace, but beyond a focus on choosing appropriate research questions, there are no clear guidelines for such studies. Without these guidelines, designing an animal tracking study to produce reliable estimates of space-use and movement properties (necessary to answer basic movement ecology questions), is often done in an ad hoc manner.
  2. We developed ‘movedesign’, a user-friendly Shiny application, which can be utilized to investigate the precision of three estimates regularly reported in movement and spatial ecology studies: home range area, speed and distance travelled. Conceptually similar to statistical power analysis, this application enables users to assess the degree of estimate precision that may be achieved with a given sampling design; that is, the choices regarding data resolution (sampling interval) and battery life (sampling duration).
  3. Leveraging the ‘ctmmR package, we utilize two methods proven to handle many common biases in animal movement datasets: autocorrelated kernel density estimators (AKDEs) and continuous-time speed and distance (CTSD) estimators. Longer sampling durations are required to reliably estimate home range areas via the detection of a sufficient number of home range crossings. In contrast, speed and distance estimation requires a sampling interval short enough to ensure that a statistically significant signature of the animal's velocity remains in the data.
  4. This application addresses key challenges faced by researchers when designing tracking studies, including the trade-off between long battery life and high resolution of GPS locations collected by the devices, which may result in a compromise between reliably estimating home range or speed and distance. ‘movedesign’ has broad applications for researchers and decision-makers, supporting them to focus efforts and resources in achieving the optimal sampling design strategy for their research questions, prioritizing the correct deployment decisions for insightful and reliable outputs, while understanding the trade-off associated with these choices.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Silva, I., Fleming, C.H., Noonan, M.J., Fagan, W.F., Calabrese, J.M. (2023):
movedesign: Shiny R app to evaluate sampling design for animal movement studies
Methods Ecol. Evol. 14 (9), 2216 - 2225 10.1111/2041-210X.14153