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  1. Adler, Frederick (Ed.)
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  2. Populations of many marine species are only weakly synchronous, despite coupling through larval dispersal and exposure to synchronous environmental drivers. Although this is often attributed to observation noise, factors including local environmental differences, spatially variable dynamics, and chaos might also reduce or eliminate metapopulation synchrony. To differentiate spatially variable dynamics from similar dynamics driven by spatially variable environments, we applied hierarchical delay embedding. A unique output of this approach, the “dynamic correlation,” quantifies similarity in intrinsic dynamics of populations, independently of whether their abundance is correlated through time. We applied these methods to 17 populations of blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) along the US Atlantic coast and found that their intrinsic dynamics were broadly similar despite largely independent fluctuations in abundance. The weight of evidence suggests that the latitudinal gradient in temperature, filtered through a unimodal response curve, is sufficient to decouple crab populations. As unimodal thermal performance is ubiquitous in ectotherms, we suggest that this may be a general explanation for the weak synchrony observed at large distances in many marine species, although additional studies are needed to test this hypothesis.

  3. Coulson, Tim (Ed.)
  4. Griffith, Gary (Ed.)
    Abstract Complex nonlinear dynamics are ubiquitous in marine ecology. Empirical dynamic modelling can be used to infer ecosystem dynamics and species interactions while making minimal assumptions. Although there is growing enthusiasm for applying these methods, the background required to understand them is not typically part of contemporary marine ecology curricula, leading to numerous questions and potential misunderstanding. In this study, we provide a brief overview of empirical dynamic modelling, followed by answers to the ten most frequently asked questions about nonlinear dynamics and nonlinear forecasting.