Influence of the Moran effect on spatiotemporal synchrony in common carp recruitment


Climatic variation and dispersal are two primary factors thought to induce recruitment synchrony in fish populations. We hypothesized that climate factors correlated across a broad geographical scale (i.e., the Moran effect) would induce synchrony in recruitment for common carp Cyprinus carpio among 18 glacial lakes across a 175-km2 area in eastern South Dakota. Cross-correlation analysis indicated that common carp population fluctuations were highly synchronous among lakes. To evaluate the influence of the Moran effect on recruitment, we examined several candidate models using an information-theoretic approach. The model with the most support included the interaction of temperature, precipitation, and wind during the open-water period. This model indicated that the effects of any one of these climate variables on recruitment strength depended on the level of each of the other variables in any given year. Our results suggest that common carp populations in the Midwestern United States exhibit synchronous recruitment across regionwide geographic areas as a result of climatic variability.

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Transactions of the American Fisheries Society