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Mathematical modelling of the movement of animals, micro-organisms and cells is of great relevance in the fields of biology, ecology and medicine. Movement models can take many different forms, but the most widely used are based on the extensions of simple random walk processes. In this review paper, our aim is twofold: to introduce the mathematics behind(More)
A large number of empirical studies have attributed Lévy search patterns to the foraging movements of animals. Typically, this is done by fitting a power-law distribution with an exponent of 1 < mu < or = 3 to the observed step lengths. Most studies record the animal's location at equally spaced time intervals, which are sometimes significantly longer than(More)
This paper investigates the stability of the power-law steady state often observed in marine ecosystems. Three dynamical systems are considered, describing the abundance of organisms as a function of body mass and time: a "jump-growth" equation, a first order approximation which is the widely used McKendrick-von Foerster equation, and a second order(More)
Complex networks of interactions are ubiquitous and are particularly important in ecological communities, in which large numbers of species exhibit negative (for example, competition or predation) and positive (for example, mutualism) interactions with one another. Nestedness in mutualistic ecological networks is the tendency for ecological specialists to(More)
Many different species have been suggested to forage according to a Lévy walk in which the distribution of step lengths is heavy-tailed. Theoretical research has shown that a Lévy exponent of approximately 2 can provide a higher foraging efficiency than other exponents. In this paper, a composite search model is presented for non-destructive foraging(More)
In aquatic ecosystems, where organisms typically feed and grow by eating smaller individuals, a characteristic size spectrum emerges, such that large organisms are much more rare than small ones. Here, a stochastic individual-based model for the dynamics of size spectra is described, based on birth, growth, and death of individuals, using simple assumptions(More)
The hypothesis that the optimal search strategy is a Lévy walk (LW) or Lévy flight, originally suggested in 1995, has generated an explosion of interest and controversy. Long-standing empirical evidence supporting the LW hypothesis has been overturned, while new models and data are constantly being published. Statistical methods have been criticized and new(More)
Heavy-tailed or power-law distributions are becoming increasingly common in biological literature. A wide range of biological data has been fitted to distributions with heavy tails. Many of these studies use simple fitting methods to find the parameters in the distribution, which can give highly misleading results. The potential pitfalls that can occur when(More)
Taylor's law (TL), which states that variance in population density is related to mean density via a power law, and density-mass allometry, which states that mean density is related to body mass via a power law, are two of the most widely observed patterns in ecology. Combining these two laws predicts that the variance in density is related to body mass via(More)