Acoustic accelerometer transmitters and their growing relevance to aquatic science

Robert J. Lennox, Sindre H. Eldøy, Lotte S. Dahlmo, Jordan Matley, Knut Wiik Vollset

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There has recently been great interest in the use of accelerometers onboard electronic transmitters to characterise various aspects of the ecology of wild animals. We review use cases and outline how these tools can provide opportunities for studying activity and survival, exercise physiology of wild animals, the response to stressors, energy landscapes and conservation planning tools, and the means with which to identify behaviours remotely from transmitted data. Accelerometer transmitters typically send data summaries to receivers at fixed intervals after filtering out static acceleration and calculating root-mean square error or overall dynamic body action of 2- or 3-axis acceleration values (often at 5–12.5 Hz) from dynamic acceleration onboard the tag. Despite the popularity of these transmitters among aquatic ecologists, we note that there is wide variation in the sampling frequencies and windows used among studies that will potentially affect the ability to make comparisons in the future. Accelerometer transmitters will likely become increasingly popular tools for studying finer scale details about cryptic species that are difficult to recapture and hence not suitable for studies using data loggers. We anticipate that there will continue to be opportunities to adopt methods used for analysing data from loggers to datasets generated from acceleration transmitters, to generate new knowledge about the ecology of aquatic animals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number45
Number of pages13
JournalMovement Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2023


  • Biologging
  • Sensor
  • ODBA
  • RMS
  • Metabolism
  • Fisheries management


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