Spatial synchrony of wader populations in inland lakes of the Iberian Peninsula
Gosálvez, Rafael U.
Velasco García, Ángel
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Spatial synchronization refers to similarity in temporal variations between spatially separated populations. Three mechanisms have been associated with the spatial synchrony of populations: Moran effect, dispersal and trophic interactions. In this study, we explored the degree of spatial synchrony of three wader species populations (Pied Avocet, Black-winged Stilt and Kentish Plover) using monthly estimates of their abundance in inland lakes of the Iberian Peninsula. The effect of several types of wetland variables (structural, hydroperiod and landscape) on spatial synchronization was explored. Groups of lakes with significant synchronization were identified for all three species. The lakes with wastewater input presented longer hydroperiods than those that did not receive these effluents, and this factor was positively related to the spatial synchrony of the Pied Avocet and Kentish Plover populations. The distance between lakes (used as an indicator of the dispersal effect on synchronization) was significant only in Pied Avocet. No structural or landscape variables were related to spatial synchronization in any species. It was impossible to identify any variable related to the spatial synchronization of Black-winged Stilt abundance as a possible result of the high ecological plasticity of this species. Our data provides the first evidence for mechanisms that act on the spatial synchronizing of wader populations in temporary continental lakes in central Spain, and show that the hydroperiod of lakes acts as an important factor in the spatial synchronization of aquatic species and that its effect is mediated by the reception of urban wastewater.