The Ecology of Movement and Behaviour: A Saturated Tripartite Network for Describing Animal Contacts
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
The Royal Society Publishing
Ecologists regularly use animal contact networks to describe interactions underlying pathogen transmission, gene flow, and information transfer. However, empirical descriptions of contact often overlook some features of individual movement, and decisions about what kind of network to use in a particular setting are commonly ad hoc. Here, we relate individual movement trajectories to contact networks through a tripartite network model of individual, space, and time nodes. Most networks used in animal contact studies (e.g. individual association networks, home range overlap networks, and spatial networks) are simplifications of this tripartite model. The tripartite structure can incorporate a broad suite of alternative ecological metrics like home range sizes and patch occupancy patterns into inferences about contact network metrics such as modularity and degree distribution. We demonstrate the model's utility with two simulation studies using alternative forms of ecological data to constrain the tripartite network's structure and inform expectations about the harder-to-measure metrics related to contact.
Manlove KR, Aiello C, Sah P, Cummins B, Hudson PJ and Cross PC. “The ecology of movement and behaviour: A saturated tripartite network for describing animal contacts.” Proc R Soc B. 2018