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Where on earth can animals use a geomagnetic bi-coordinate map for navigation?

Boström, Jannika LU ; Åkesson, Susanne LU and Alerstam, Thomas LU (2012) In Ecography 35(11). p.1039-1047
Abstract
Many animal taxa have been shown to possess the ability of true navigation. In this study we investigated the possibilities for geomagnetic bi-coordinate map navigation in different regions of the earth by analysing angular differences between isolines of geomagnetic total intensity and inclination. In no-grid zones where isolines were running almost parallel, efficient geomagnetic bi-coordinate navigation would probably not be feasible. These zones formed four distinct areas with a north-south extension in the northern hemisphere, whereas the pattern in the southern hemisphere was more diffuse. On each side of these zones there was often a mirror effect where identical combinations of the geomagnetic parameters appeared. This may... (More)
Many animal taxa have been shown to possess the ability of true navigation. In this study we investigated the possibilities for geomagnetic bi-coordinate map navigation in different regions of the earth by analysing angular differences between isolines of geomagnetic total intensity and inclination. In no-grid zones where isolines were running almost parallel, efficient geomagnetic bi-coordinate navigation would probably not be feasible. These zones formed four distinct areas with a north-south extension in the northern hemisphere, whereas the pattern in the southern hemisphere was more diffuse. On each side of these zones there was often a mirror effect where identical combinations of the geomagnetic parameters appeared. This may potentially cause problems for species migrating long distances east-west across longitudes, since they may pass areas with identical geomagnetic coordinates. Migration routes assumed for four populations of migratory passerine birds were used to illustrate the possibilities of geomagnetic bi-coordinate map navigation along different routes. We conclude that it is unlikely that animal navigation is universally based on a geomagnetic bi-coordinate map mechanism only, and we predict that the relative importance of geomagnetic coordinate information differs between animals, areas and routes, depending on the different conditions for bi-coordinate geomagnetic navigation in different regions of the earth. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Ecography
volume
35
issue
11
pages
1039 - 1047
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000310602800009
  • scopus:84868302774
ISSN
1600-0587
DOI
10.1111/j.1600-0587.2012.07507.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
217927f0-9e75-471c-98ce-a992d041a72e (old id 3244213)
date added to LUP
2012-12-28 10:02:23
date last changed
2017-10-22 04:17:53
@article{217927f0-9e75-471c-98ce-a992d041a72e,
  abstract     = {Many animal taxa have been shown to possess the ability of true navigation. In this study we investigated the possibilities for geomagnetic bi-coordinate map navigation in different regions of the earth by analysing angular differences between isolines of geomagnetic total intensity and inclination. In no-grid zones where isolines were running almost parallel, efficient geomagnetic bi-coordinate navigation would probably not be feasible. These zones formed four distinct areas with a north-south extension in the northern hemisphere, whereas the pattern in the southern hemisphere was more diffuse. On each side of these zones there was often a mirror effect where identical combinations of the geomagnetic parameters appeared. This may potentially cause problems for species migrating long distances east-west across longitudes, since they may pass areas with identical geomagnetic coordinates. Migration routes assumed for four populations of migratory passerine birds were used to illustrate the possibilities of geomagnetic bi-coordinate map navigation along different routes. We conclude that it is unlikely that animal navigation is universally based on a geomagnetic bi-coordinate map mechanism only, and we predict that the relative importance of geomagnetic coordinate information differs between animals, areas and routes, depending on the different conditions for bi-coordinate geomagnetic navigation in different regions of the earth.},
  author       = {Boström, Jannika and Åkesson, Susanne and Alerstam, Thomas},
  issn         = {1600-0587},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {11},
  pages        = {1039--1047},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Ecography},
  title        = {Where on earth can animals use a geomagnetic bi-coordinate map for navigation?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0587.2012.07507.x},
  volume       = {35},
  year         = {2012},
}