Optimization of dynamic soaring in a flap-gliding seabird affects its large-scale distribution at sea
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Dynamic soaring harvests energy from a spatiotemporal wind gradient, allowing albatrosses to glide over vast distances. However, its use is challenging to demonstrate empirically and has yet to be confirmed in other seabirds. Here, we investigate how flap-gliding Manx shearwaters optimize their flight for dynamic soaring. We do so by deriving a new metric, the horizontal wind effectiveness, that quantifies how effectively flight harvests energy from a shear layer. We evaluate this metric empirically for fine-scale trajectories reconstructed from bird-borne video data using a simplified flight dynamics model. We find that the birds' undulations are phased with their horizontal turning to optimize energy harvesting. We also assess the opportunity for energy harvesting in long-range, GPS-logged foraging trajectories and find that Manx shearwaters optimize their flight to increase the opportunity for dynamic soaring during favorable wind conditions. Our results show how small-scale dynamic soaring affects large-scale Manx shearwater distribution at sea.
Kempton , J A , Wynn , J , Bond , S , Evry , J , Fayet , A L , Gillies , N , Guilford , T , Kavelaars , M , Juarez-Martinez , I , Padget , O , Rutz , C , Shoji , A , Syposz , M & Taylor , G K 2022 , ' Optimization of dynamic soaring in a flap-gliding seabird affects its large-scale distribution at sea ' , Science Advances , vol. 8 , no. 22 , eabo0200 . https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abo0200
Copyright © 2022 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S.Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY).
DescriptionFunding: This work was supported by the University of Oxford Christopher Welch Scholarship (to J.A.K.); ASAB Undergraduate Project Scholarship (to J.A.K.); UKRI BBSRC scholarship grant number BB/M011224/1 (to J.W. and N.G.); The Queen’s College, University of Oxford (to A.L.F.); Junior Research Fellowship at St. John’s College, University of Oxford (to O.P.); Merton College, University of Oxford (to T.G.); Mary Griffiths Award (to T.G.); BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship grant numbers BB/G023913/1 and BB/ G023913/2 (to C.R.); and Jesus College, University of Oxford (to G.K.T.). This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 682501) (to G.K.T.)
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