How linear features alter predator movement and the functional response.

Hannah W McKenzie, Evelyn H Merrill, Raymond J Spiteri, Mark A Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


In areas of oil and gas exploration, seismic lines have been reported to alter the movement patterns of wolves (Canis lupus). We developed a mechanistic first passage time model, based on an anisotropic elliptic partial differential equation, and used this to explore how wolf movement responses to seismic lines influence the encounter rate of the wolves with their prey. The model was parametrized using 5 min GPS location data. These data showed that wolves travelled faster on seismic lines and had a higher probability of staying on a seismic line once they were on it. We simulated wolf movement on a range of seismic line densities and drew implications for the rate of predator-prey interactions as described by the functional response. The functional response exhibited a more than linear increase with respect to prey density (type III) as well as interactions with seismic line density. Encounter rates were significantly higher in landscapes with high seismic line density and were most pronounced at low prey densities. This suggests that prey at low population densities are at higher risk in environments with a high seismic line density unless they learn to avoid them.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-216
Number of pages12
JournalInterface Focus
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 18 2012
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'How linear features alter predator movement and the functional response.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this