THE INFLUENCE OF FUNCTIONAL AND PHYLOGENETIC TRAITS ON SNAKES MOVEMENT
AND HOME RANGE
AbstractCombining individual movement and home range data can allow us to better
understand how an animal interacts with its surroundings and how this
influences ecological dynamics. Previous studies about the movement and
home range of snakes have shown several factors influencing them.
Usually, these studies were made with different species, using different
methods and in different regions, hampering a comparative analysis to
identify general patterns. The present study aims to review all
available literature about snake movement and home range identifying the
influence of phylogenetic, ecological, and morphological factors on
these behaviors. We conducted an exhaustive survey of specialized
journals and online databases for papers that used radio telemetry to
track snakes. We found 448 papers and after applying filter selected 74
of them to determine the influence of the ecological factors and of the
phylogeny on snake movement and home range in 1010 snakes. Our results
show that movement and home range have no phylogenetic signal, however,
functional traits are linked to snake's habits and reflect the
particularities of survival strategies and morphologies of each group.
Larger and heavier snakes move more and occupy larger areas. Snake
movement seems to be more efficient in aquatic environments. Our results
provide useful data to understand the dynamics of snake movements and
space use and outline strategies for their conservation.