Orientation in high-flying migrant insects in relation to flows: mechanisms and strategies

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Reynolds, A. M., Reynolds, D. R., Sane, S. P., Hu, G. and Chapman, J. W. 2016. Orientation in high-flying migrant insects in relation to flows: mechanisms and strategies. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences. 371 (1704), p. 20150392.

AuthorsReynolds, A. M., Reynolds, D. R., Sane, S. P., Hu, G. and Chapman, J. W.
Abstract

High-flying insect migrants have been shown to display sophisticated flight orientations that can, for example, maximize distance travelled by exploiting tailwinds, and reduce drift from seasonally optimal directions. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of the theoretical and empirical evidence for the mechanisms underlying the selection and maintenance of the observed flight headings, and the detection of wind direction and speed, for insects flying hundreds of metres above the ground. Different mechanisms may be used—visual perception of the apparent ground movement or mechanosensory cues maintained by intrinsic features of the wind—depending on circumstances (e.g. day or night migrations). In addition to putative turbulence-induced velocity, acceleration and temperature cues, we present a new mathematical analysis which shows that ‘jerks’ (the time-derivative of accelerations) can provide indicators of wind direction at altitude. The adaptive benefits of the different orientation strategies are briefly discussed, and we place these new findings for insects within a wider context by comparisons with the latest research on other flying and swimming organisms.

This article is part of the themed issue ‘Moving in a moving medium: new perspectives on flight’.

Year of Publication2016
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences
Journal citation371 (1704), p. 20150392
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1098/rstb.2015.0392
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeSustainability
Movement and spatial ecology in agricultural landscapes
Publisher's version
Copyright license
CC BY
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online15 Aug 2016
Publication process dates
Accepted31 May 2016
ISSN0962-8436
PublisherRoyal Society Publishing

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