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  1. Abstract

    The sole unifying feature of the incredibly diverse Archaea is their isoprenoid‐based ether‐linked lipid membranes. Unique lipid membrane composition, including an abundance of membrane‐spanning tetraether lipids, impart resistance to extreme conditions. Many questions remain, however, regarding the synthesis and modification of tetraether lipids and how dynamic changes to archaeal lipid membrane composition support hyperthermophily. Tetraether membranes, termed glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs), are generated by tetraether synthase (Tes) by joining the tails of two bilayer lipids known as archaeol. GDGTs are often further specialized through the addition of cyclopentane rings by GDGT ring synthase (Grs). A positive correlation between relative GDGT abundance and entry into stationary phase growth has been observed, but the physiological impact of inhibiting GDGT synthesis has not previously been reported. Here, we demonstrate that the model hyperthermophileThermococcus kodakarensisremains viable when Tes (TK2145) or Grs (TK0167) are deleted, permitting phenotypic and lipid analyses at different temperatures. The absence of cyclopentane rings in GDGTs does not impact growth inT. kodakarensis, but an overabundance of rings due to ectopic Grs expression is highly fitness negative at supra‐optimal temperatures. In contrast, deletion of Tes resulted in the loss of all GDGTs, cyclization of archaeol, and loss of viability upon transition to the stationary phase in this model archaea. These results demonstrate the critical roles of highly specialized, dynamic, isoprenoid‐based lipid membranes for archaeal survival at high temperatures.

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  2. Abstract Background Bio-logging and animal tracking datasets continuously grow in volume and complexity, documenting animal behaviour and ecology in unprecedented extent and detail, but greatly increasing the challenge of extracting knowledge from the data obtained. A large variety of analysis methods are being developed, many of which in effect are inaccessible to potential users, because they remain unpublished, depend on proprietary software or require significant coding skills. Results We developed MoveApps, an open analysis platform for animal tracking data, to make sophisticated analytical tools accessible to a global community of movement ecologists and wildlife managers. As part of the Movebank ecosystem, MoveApps allows users to design and share workflows composed of analysis modules (Apps) that access and analyse tracking data. Users browse Apps, build workflows, customise parameters, execute analyses and access results through an intuitive web-based interface. Apps, coded in R or other programming languages, have been developed by the MoveApps team and can be contributed by anyone developing analysis code. They become available to all user of the platform. To allow long-term and cross-system reproducibility, Apps have public source code and are compiled and run in Docker containers that form the basis of a serverless cloud computing system. To support reproducible science and help contributors document and benefit from their efforts, workflows of Apps can be shared, published and archived with DOIs in the Movebank Data Repository. The platform was beta launched in spring 2021 and currently contains 49 Apps that are used by 316 registered users. We illustrate its use through two workflows that (1) provide a daily report on active tag deployments and (2) segment and map migratory movements. Conclusions The MoveApps platform is meant to empower the community to supply, exchange and use analysis code in an intuitive environment that allows fast and traceable results and feedback. By bringing together analytical experts developing movement analysis methods and code with those in need of tools to explore, answer questions and inform decisions based on data they collect, we intend to increase the pace of knowledge generation and integration to match the huge growth rate in bio-logging data acquisition. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
  4. COVID-19 lockdowns in early 2020 reduced human mobility, providing an opportunity to disentangle its effects on animals from those of landscape modifications. Using GPS data, we compared movements and road avoidance of 2300 terrestrial mammals (43 species) during the lockdowns to the same period in 2019. Individual responses were variable with no change in average movements or road avoidance behavior, likely due to variable lockdown conditions. However, under strict lockdowns 10-day 95th percentile displacements increased by 73%, suggesting increased landscape permeability. Animals’ 1-hour 95th percentile displacements declined by 12% and animals were 36% closer to roads in areas of high human footprint, indicating reduced avoidance during lockdowns. Overall, lockdowns rapidly altered some spatial behaviors, highlighting variable but substantial impacts of human mobility on wildlife worldwide.

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  5. Abstract

    Quantifying movement and demographic events of free‐ranging animals is fundamental to studying their ecology, evolution and conservation. Technological advances have led to an explosion in sensor‐based methods for remotely observing these phenomena. This transition to big data creates new challenges for data management, analysis and collaboration.

    We present the Movebank ecosystem of tools used by thousands of researchers to collect, manage, share, visualize, analyse and archive their animal tracking and other animal‐borne sensor data. Users add sensor data through file uploads or live data streams and further organize and complete quality control within the Movebank system. All data are harmonized to a data model and vocabulary. The public can discover, view and download data for which they have been given access to through the website, the Animal Tracker mobile app or by API. Advanced analysis tools are available through the EnvDATA System, the MoveApps platform and a variety of user‐developed applications. Data owners can share studies with select users or the public, with options for embargos, licenses and formal archiving in a data repository.

    Movebank is used by over 3,100 data owners globally, who manage over 6 billion animal location and sensor measurements across more than 6,500 studies, with thousands of active tags sending over 3 million new data records daily. These data underlie >700 published papers and reports. We present a case study demonstrating the use of Movebank to assess life‐history events and demography, and engage with citizen scientists to identify mortalities and causes of death for a migratory bird.

    A growing number of researchers, government agencies and conservation organizations use Movebank to manage research and conservation projects and to meet legislative requirements. The combination of historic and new data with collaboration tools enables broad comparative analyses and data acquisition and mapping efforts. Movebank offers an integrated system for real‐time monitoring of animals at a global scale and represents a digital museum of animal movement and behaviour. Resources and coordination across countries and organizations are needed to ensure that these data, including those that cannot be made public, remain accessible to future generations.

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  6. null (Ed.)
    The Arctic is entering a new ecological state, with alarming consequences for humanity. Animal-borne sensors offer a window into these changes. Although substantial animal tracking data from the Arctic and subarctic exist, most are difficult to discover and access. Here, we present the new Arctic Animal Movement Archive (AAMA), a growing collection of more than 200 standardized terrestrial and marine animal tracking studies from 1991 to the present. The AAMA supports public data discovery, preserves fundamental baseline data for the future, and facilitates efficient, collaborative data analysis. With AAMA-based case studies, we document climatic influences on the migration phenology of eagles, geographic differences in the adaptive response of caribou reproductive phenology to climate change, and species-specific changes in terrestrial mammal movement rates in response to increasing temperature. 
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  7. Abstract

    Light‐level geolocator tags use ambient light recordings to estimate the whereabouts of an individual over the time it carried the device. Over the past decade, these tags have emerged as an important tool and have been used extensively for tracking animal migrations, most commonly small birds.

    Analysing geolocator data can be daunting to new and experienced scientists alike. Over the past decades, several methods with fundamental differences in the analytical approach have been developed to cope with the various caveats and the often complicated data.

    Here, we explain the concepts behind the analyses of geolocator data and provide a practical guide for the common steps encompassing most analyses – annotation of twilights, calibration, estimating and refining locations, and extraction of movement patterns – describing good practices and common pitfalls for each step.

    We discuss criteria for deciding whether or not geolocators can answer proposed research questions, provide guidance in choosing an appropriate analysis method and introduce key features of the newest open‐source analysis tools.

    We provide advice for how to interpret and report results, highlighting parameters that should be reported in publications and included in data archiving.

    Finally, we introduce a comprehensive supplementary online manual that applies the concepts to several datasets, demonstrates the use of open‐source analysis tools with step‐by‐step instructions and code and details our recommendations for interpreting, reporting and archiving.

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  8. Abstract Aim

    Animal movement is an important determinant of individual survival, population dynamics and ecosystem structure and function. Nonetheless, it is still unclear how local movements are related to resource availability and the spatial arrangement of resources. Using resident bird species and migratory bird species outside the migratory period, we examined how the distribution of resources affects the movement patterns of both large terrestrial birds (e.g., raptors, bustards and hornbills) and waterbirds (e.g., cranes, storks, ducks, geese and flamingos).



    Time period


    Major taxa studied



    We compiled GPS tracking data for 386 individuals across 36 bird species. We calculated the straight‐line distance between GPS locations of each individual at the 1‐hr and 10‐day time‐scales. For each individual and time‐scale, we calculated the median and 0.95 quantile of displacement. We used linear mixed‐effects models to examine the effect of the spatial arrangement of resources, measured as enhanced vegetation index homogeneity, on avian movements, while accounting for mean resource availability, body mass, diet, flight type, migratory status and taxonomy and spatial autocorrelation.


    We found a significant effect of resource spatial arrangement at the 1‐hr and 10‐day time‐scales. On average, individual movements were seven times longer in environments with homogeneously distributed resources compared with areas of low resource homogeneity. Contrary to previous work, we found no significant effect of resource availability, diet, flight type, migratory status or body mass on the non‐migratory movements of birds.

    Main conclusions

    We suggest that longer movements in homogeneous environments might reflect the need for different habitat types associated with foraging and reproduction. This highlights the importance of landscape complementarity, where habitat patches within a landscape include a range of different, yet complementary resources. As habitat homogenization increases, it might force birds to travel increasingly longer distances to meet their diverse needs.

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