Ecology (communication arising)

Living in synchrony on Greenland coasts?

Abstract

Theory indicates that correlated weather may synchronize populations1, but the extent to which this holds for non-identical, nonlinear systems is uncertain. Post and Forchhammer2 claim to have shown climate-induced synchrony for musk oxen and caribou that are separated by the Greenland ice sheet. However, logical and mathematical errors undermine their finding. Whether or not large-scale weather can be a major synchronizing factor across species remains an open question.

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Figure 1: Post and Forchhammer's results can be turned either way by a change of measurement unit.

References

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Correspondence to Nils Chr. Stenseth.

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Vik, J., Stenseth, N., Tavecchia, G. et al. Living in synchrony on Greenland coasts?. Nature 427, 697–698 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1038/427697a

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