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|Title: ||Orientation of a keystone grazer: behavioural mechanisms, physiological consequences and ecological implications|
|Authors: ||Fraser, Clarissa|
|Issue Date: ||31-Aug-2014|
|Publisher: ||University of Sydney|
Faculty of Science
|Abstract: ||One of the fundamental goals of ecology is to understand and explain patterns of distribution and behaviour of animals, which can vary at different temporal and spatial scales. At the smallest scale, individuals may be orientated with respect to a particular variable. Compared to our knowledge of many other types of ecological patterns, we have a poor level of understanding of the causal basis for orientation behaviours. Most studies on orientation have focussed on environmental factors like sun and wave direction. This has led to a distorted understanding of animal orientation, and this limitation has prevented a broader level of knowledge from being developed. It is true that habitat properties, interspecific interactions and intrinsic individual attributes may be important factors but their role is largely unknown. The aims of the research were to a) evaluate the role of habitat, intrinsic individual and environmental variation in driving and modifying patterns of orientation and to b) determine what consequences an individual’s orientation may have for themselves and for the surrounding ecosystem using limpets as a model organism. Populations of the intertidal limpet Cellana tramoserica exhibit a downwards bias in orientation on steeply-sloped substrata (>60º).
Limpets actively selected their orientation by rotating on their resting site on arrival. I also demonstrated that habitat properties and individual attributes may be equally as important as environmental factors in driving patterns of orientation. C. tramoserica showed no physiological or ecosystem consequences of an individual’s orientation. By combining my results and conclusions from the literature, I proposed a conceptual framework to view and understand animal orientation. This framework is based on the idea that patterns of orientation are set and maintained by a relationship between the ability of an animal to alter its orientation and the relative importance of environmental/habitat variation.|
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|Rights and Permissions: ||The author retains copyright of this thesis. It may only be used for the purposes of research and study. It must not be used for any other purposes and may not be transmitted or shared with others without prior permission.|
|Type of Work: ||PhD Doctorate|
|Type of Publication: ||Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D.|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (University of Sydney Access only)|
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