Many biological populations fluctuate in synchrony over large geographic regions. This behavior may increase the chance of extinction. The combination of time-scale separation between interacting species and weak spatial linear diffusive coupling is one mechanism that can generate synchrony; however, accounting for travel time between habitat patches may destabilize this synchrony. Here, we show that ubiquitous behavioral aspects of dispersal (e.g., predator avoidance), implemented as nonlinear diffusive coupling, may also destabilize synchrony. In addition, these aspects interact with travel-time delays and amplify mechanisms that destroy synchrony. Our work suggests that dispersal-induced synchrony is more rare than typically assumed.

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