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CR 86:113-123 (2022)  -  DOI:

Environmental effects on spatial population dynamics and synchrony: lessons from northern ecosystems

Ivar Herfindal1,*, Aline Magdalena Lee1, Jonatan F. Marquez1, Mathilde Le Moullec1, Bart Peeters1, Brage Bremset Hansen1, John-André Henden2, Bernt-Erik Sæther1

1Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics, Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim 7491, Norway
2Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, The Arctic University of Tromsø, Tromsø 9019, Norway
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Environmental variation in time and space generates complex patterns in the spatial structure of temporally covarying populations. Accounting for spatial population structure is important for sustainable management and harvest, but there is a need for a better understanding of the many mechanisms affecting the spatial structure of populations. In the large-scale research project SUSTAIN, detailed long-term data from several taxa within the boreal and Arctic ecosystems were used to address key research questions about spatial population structure. Here, we synthesise the main findings from these studies. Because nearby populations experience similar environmental variation, populations close to each other show more correlated dynamics than those at greater distances. However, several mechanisms can affect the extent of such spatial population synchrony, and we point to some similarities across systems that can explain the observed discrepancy between the spatial structure of the environment and that of population dynamics. We discuss the consequences of these findings for the practical management of species in a changing environment and the need for further research on how populations and ecosystems are affected by the spatial structure of the environment.

KEY WORDS: Spatial synchrony · Environmental variation · Population dynamics · Harvest strategies · Climate change

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Cite this article as: Herfindal I, Lee AM, Marquez JF, Le Moullec M and others (2022) Environmental effects on spatial population dynamics and synchrony: lessons from northern ecosystems. Clim Res 86:113-123.

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