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Modelling of concentrations along a moving observer in an inhomogeneous plume. Biological application: model of odour-mediated insect flights

Lo Iacono, Giovanni and Reynolds, Andy M (2008) Modelling of concentrations along a moving observer in an inhomogeneous plume. Biological application: model of odour-mediated insect flights Environmental Fluid Mechanics, 8 (2). pp. 147-168.

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We develop a stochastic model for the time-evolution of scalar concentrations and temporal gradients in concentration experienced by observers moving within inhomogeneous plumes that are dispersing within turbulent flows. In this model, scalar concentrations and their gradients evolve jointly as a Markovian process. Underlying the model formulation is a natural generalisation of Thomson’s well mixed condition [Thomson DJ (1987) J Fluid Mech 180:529–556]. As a consequence model outputs are necessarily compatible with statistical properties of scalars observed in experiment that are used here as model input. We then use the model to examine how insects aloft within the atmospheric boundary-layer can locate odour sources by modulating their flight patterns in response to odour cues. Mechanisms underlying odour-mediated flights have been studied extensively at laboratory-scale but an understanding of these flights over landscape scales is still lacking. Insect flights are simulated by combining the stochastic model with a simple model of insect olfactory response. These simulations show the strong influence of wind speed on the distributions of the times taken by insects to locate the source. In accordance with experimental observations [Baker TC, Vickers NJ (1997) In: Insect pheromone research: new directions, pp 248–264; Mafra-Neto A, Cardé RT (1994) Nature 369:142–144], flight patterns are predicted to become straighter and shorter, and source location is predicted to become more likely as the mean wind speed increases. The most probable arrival time to the source decreases with the mean wind speed. It is shown that scale-free movement patterns arising from olfactory-driven foraging stem directly from the power-law distribution of concentration excursion times above/below a threshold level and are robust with respect to variations in Reynolds number. Flight lengths are well represented by a power law distribution in agreement with the observed patterns of foraging bumblebees [Heinrich B (1979) Oecologia 40(3):235–245].

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Authors :
Lo Iacono,
Reynolds, Andy M
Date : 14 March 2008
DOI : 10.1007/s10652-008-9054-y
Copyright Disclaimer : © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008
Uncontrolled Keywords : Odour-source location Inhomogeneous plume Intermittency Scale-free searching Lévy-walks
Depositing User : Karen Garland
Date Deposited : 22 Nov 2017 14:48
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 19:04

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