Tail dependent spatial synchrony arises from nonlinear driver response relationships

Walter, JA; Castorani, MCN; Bell, TW; Sheppard, LW; Cavanaugh, KC; Reuman, DC. 2022 Tail dependent spatial synchrony arises from nonlinear driver response relationships. Ecology Letters. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13991

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Spatial synchrony may be tail-dependent, that is, stronger when populations are abundant than scarce, or vice-versa. Here, ‘tail-dependent’ follows from distributions having a lower tail consisting of relatively low values and an upper tail of relatively high values. We present a general theory of how the distribution and correlation structure of an environmental driver translates into tail-dependent spatial synchrony through a non-linear response, and examine empirical evidence for theoretical predictions in giant kelp along the California coastline. In sheltered areas, kelp declines synchronously (lower-tail dependence) when waves are relatively intense, because waves below a certain height do little damage to kelp. Conversely, in exposed areas, kelp is synchronised primarily by periods of calmness that cause shared recovery (upper-tail dependence). We find evidence for geographies of tail dependence in synchrony, which helps structure regional population resilience: areas where population declines are asynchronous may be more resilient to disturbance because remnant populations facilitate reestablishment.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: Copula, Disturbance, Giant Kelp, Macrocystis Pyrifera, Nutrients, Stability, Synchrony, Waves
Subjects: Botany
Earth Sciences
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Marine Biological Association of the UK > Knowledge Exchange
Depositing User: Tamar Atkinson
Date made live: 29 Apr 2022 15:03
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2022 15:03
URI: https://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/9641

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