The geography of spatial synchrony

Jonathan A. Walter, Lawrence W. Sheppard, Thomas L. Anderson, Jude H. Kastens, Ottar N. Bjornstad, Andrew M. Liebhold, Daniel C. Reuman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Spatial synchrony, defined as correlated temporal fluctuations among populations, is a fundamental feature of population dynamics, but many aspects of synchrony remain poorly understood. Few studies have examined detailed geographical patterns of synchrony; instead most focus on how synchrony declines with increasing linear distance between locations, making the simplifying assumption that distance decay is isotropic. By synthesising and extending prior work, we show how geography of synchrony, a term which we use to refer to detailed spatial variation in patterns of synchrony, can be leveraged to understand ecological processes including identification of drivers of synchrony, a long-standing challenge. We focus on three main objectives: (1) showing conceptually and theoretically four mechanisms that can generate geographies of synchrony; (2) documenting complex and pronounced geographies of synchrony in two important study systems; and (3) demonstrating a variety of methods capable of revealing the geography of synchrony and, through it, underlying organism ecology. For example, we introduce a new type of network, the synchrony network, the structure of which provides ecological insight. By documenting the importance of geographies of synchrony, advancing conceptual frameworks, and demonstrating powerful methods, we aim to help elevate the geography of synchrony into a mainstream area of study and application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-814
Number of pages14
JournalEcology Letters
Volume20
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

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synchrony
geography
spatial variation
population dynamics
deterioration
ecology
organisms
methodology
conceptual framework

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Walter, J. A., Sheppard, L. W., Anderson, T. L., Kastens, J. H., Bjornstad, O. N., Liebhold, A. M., & Reuman, D. C. (2017). The geography of spatial synchrony. Ecology Letters, 20(7), 801-814. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12782
Walter, Jonathan A. ; Sheppard, Lawrence W. ; Anderson, Thomas L. ; Kastens, Jude H. ; Bjornstad, Ottar N. ; Liebhold, Andrew M. ; Reuman, Daniel C. / The geography of spatial synchrony. In: Ecology Letters. 2017 ; Vol. 20, No. 7. pp. 801-814.
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Walter, JA, Sheppard, LW, Anderson, TL, Kastens, JH, Bjornstad, ON, Liebhold, AM & Reuman, DC 2017, 'The geography of spatial synchrony', Ecology Letters, vol. 20, no. 7, pp. 801-814. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12782

The geography of spatial synchrony. / Walter, Jonathan A.; Sheppard, Lawrence W.; Anderson, Thomas L.; Kastens, Jude H.; Bjornstad, Ottar N.; Liebhold, Andrew M.; Reuman, Daniel C.

In: Ecology Letters, Vol. 20, No. 7, 01.07.2017, p. 801-814.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Walter JA, Sheppard LW, Anderson TL, Kastens JH, Bjornstad ON, Liebhold AM et al. The geography of spatial synchrony. Ecology Letters. 2017 Jul 1;20(7):801-814. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12782