Levy foraging patterns of rural humans

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Reynolds, A. M., Ceccon, E., Baldauf, C., Medeiros, T. K. and Miramontes, O. 2018. Levy foraging patterns of rural humans. PLOS ONE. 13 (6), p. e0199099. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199099

AuthorsReynolds, A. M., Ceccon, E., Baldauf, C., Medeiros, T. K. and Miramontes, O.

Movement patterns resembling Lévy walks, often attributed to the execution of an advantageous probabilistic searching strategy, are found in a wide variety of organisms, from cells to human hunter-gatherers. It has been suggested that such movement patterns may be fundamental to how humans interact and experience the world and that they may have arisen early in our genus with the evolution of a hunting and gathering lifestyle. Here we show that Lévy walks are evident in the Me’Phaa of Mexico, in Brazilian Cariri farmers and in Amazonian farmers when gathering firewood, wild fruit and nuts. Around 50% of the search patterns resemble Lévy walks and these are characterized by Lévy exponents close to 1.7. The other search patterns more closely resemble bi-phasic walks. We suggest potential generative mechanisms for the occurrence of these ubiquitous Lévy walks which can be used to guide future studies on human mobility. We show that frequent excursions and meanderings from pre-existing trails can account for our observations.

Year of Publication2018
Journal citation13 (6), p. e0199099
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199099
PubMed ID29912927
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
National Council and Technological Development (CNPq)
Funder project or codeMovement and spatial ecology in agricultural landscapes
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online18 Jun 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted31 May 2018
PublisherPublic Library of Science (PLOS)
Copyright licenseCC BY

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