Bayesian state-space modelling of conventional acoustic tracking provides accurate descriptors of home range behavior in a small-bodied coastal fish species

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State-space models (SSM) are increasingly applied in studies involving biotelemetry-generated positional data because they are able to estimate movement parameters from positions that are unobserved or have been observed with non-negligible observational error. Popular telemetry systems in marine coastal fish consist of arrays of omnidirectional acoustic receivers, which generate a multivariate time-series of detection events across the tracking period. Here we report a novel Bayesian fitting of a SSM application that couples mechanistic movement properties within a home range (a specific case of random walkweighted by an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process) with a model of observational error typical fordata obtained from acoustic receiver arrays. We explored the performance and accuracy ofthe approach through simulation modelling and extensive sensitivity analyses of the effectsof various configurations of movement properties and time-steps among positions. Model results show an accurate and unbiased estimation of the movement parameters, and inmost cases the simulated movement parameters were properly retrieved. Only in extreme situations (when fast swimming speeds are combined with pooling the number of detections over long time-steps) the model produced some bias that needs to be accounted for in field applications. Our method was subsequently applied to real acoustic tracking data collected from a small marine coastal fish species, the pearly razorfish, Xyrichtys novacula. The Bayesian SSM we present here constitutes an alternative for those used to the Bayesian way of reasoning. Our Bayesian SSM can be easily adapted and generalized to any species,there by allowing studies in freely roaming animals on the ecological and evolutionary consequences of home ranges and territory establishment, both in fishes and in other taxa.

Alós, J., Palmer, M., Balle, S., Arlinghaus, R. (2016). Bayesian state-space modelling of conventional acoustic tracking provides accurate descriptors of home range behavior in a small-bodied coastal fish species. PLoS ONE, 11(4), e0154089


Veröffentlicht: 2016
Erschienen in: PLoS ONE, 11(4), e0154089