, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 225-228

Variable wind directions and anemotactic strategies of searching for an odour plume

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This paper deals with anemotactic strategies of searching for odour plumes under conditions of variation in wind direction and equal energy costs involved in moving a unit path length in any direction in the x, y plane. It is generally accepted that cross-wind searching is the best searching strategy to acquire a maximum amount of information. This is of course true, if the wind is unidirectional. A geometrical model of anemotactic searching is presented that takes into account variation in wind direction. It is shown, that, if wind direction fluctuates over a range larger than 30 degrees from the mean wind direction, then upwind or downwind searching is the best strategy and cross-wind searching is the worst of all possibilities.