Migratory Networks

Seasonal migrations are some of the most spectacular and fascinating phenomena found in nature and occur in many taxa, including insects, fish, reptiles, mammals, and birds. Migratory animals comprise a significant portion of global biodiversity and are fundamental components of ecosystems worldwide, but they present a challenge for conservation since their life cycles rely upon a suite of habitats that often span geographical, ecological and political boundaries. Despite decades of research, we do not understand the many factors that affect migratory species. In my lab, we are developing ecological theory based on the idea of networks to aid in the study of migratory species. A Migratory Network consists of consist of nodes representing habitat regions and edges that represent  the regular, seasonal movements. As well as theoretical explorations, we are applying network models to Semipalmated Sandpipers, Monarch Butterflies, Wilson’s Warblers and Wood Thrushes.

This work is funded by an Complex Systems Scholar Award from the James S. McDonnell Foundation.

Related Publications

Taylor, C.M., A.J. Laughlin, R.J. Hall. 2016. The response of migratory populations to phenological change: a Migratory Flow Network modelling approach.  Journal of Animal Ecology 85: 648-659 doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12494

Laughlin, A.J., D.R. Sheldon, D.W. Winkler, C.M. Taylor. 2016. Quantifying migration phenology and the drivers of autumn movements for a migratory songbird using Doppler radar. Ecography 39: 001-008 doi:10.1111/ecog.01988

Taylor, C.M. & B. Stutchbury. 2016. Effects of breeding versus winter habitat loss and fragmentation on the population dynamics of a migratory songbird. Ecological Applications 26: 424–437 doi:10.1890/14-1410.1

Taylor, C.M. & R.J. Hall  2012. Metapopulation models for seasonally migratory animals. Biology Letters 8:477-480doi:10.1098/rsbl.2011.0916

Taylor, C.M. and D.R. Norris  2010. Population Dynamics of Migratory Networks.Theoretical Ecology 3(2): 65-73 doi:10.1007/s12080-009-0054-4