NCEAS Product 3284

Bjornstad, Ottar N.; Ims, R. A.; Lambin, X. 1999. Spatial population dynamics: Analyzing patterns and processes of population synchrony. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. Vol: 14. Pages 427-432. (Abstract) (Online version)


The search for mechanisms behind spatial population synchrony is currently a major issue in population ecology. Theoretical studies highlight how synchronizing mechanisms such as dispersal, regionally correlated climatic variables and mobile enemies might interact with local dynamics to produce different patterns of spatial covariance. Specialized statistical methods, applied to large-scale survey data, aid in testing the theoretical predictions with empirical estimates. Observational studies and experiments on the demography of local populations are paramount to identify the true ecological mechanisms. The recent achievements illustrate the power of combining theory, observation and/or experimentation and statistical modeling in the ecological research protocol.