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Macroscale patterns of synchrony identify complex relationships among spatial and temporal ecosystem drivers
  • Published Date:
    2017
  • Source:
    Ecosphere, 8(12), 11.
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Macroscale patterns of synchrony identify complex relationships among spatial and temporal ecosystem drivers
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  • Description:
    Ecology has a rich history of studying ecosystem dynamics across time and space that has been motivated by both practical management needs and the need to develop basic ideas about pattern and process in nature. In situations in which both spatial and temporal observations are available, similarities in temporal behavior among sites (i.e., synchrony) provide a means of understanding underlying processes that create patterns over space and time. We used pattern analysis algorithms and data spanning 22-25 yr from 601 lakes to ask three questions: What are the temporal patterns of lake water clarity at subcontinental scales? What are the spatial patterns (i.e., geography) of synchrony for lake water clarity? And, what are the drivers of spatial and temporal patterns in lake water clarity? We found that the synchrony of water clarity among lakes is not spatially structured at sub-continental scales. Our results also provide strong evidence that the drivers related to spatial patterns in water clarity are not related to the temporal patterns of water clarity. This analysis of long-term patterns of water clarity and possible drivers contributes to understanding of broad-scale spatial patterns in the geography of synchrony and complex relationships between spatial and temporal patterns across ecosystems.
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