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Cross-pollinating Sunspots

Drax Spacex

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Active Regions 2818, 2820, and 2821 are close together.  From SDO imagery, we can see magnetic loop connections not just within a single AR, but also between different ARs.  There was even a small flare that arced between 2820 and 2821.  How does having ARs close together like this affect solar activity and flare probability, versus if these same ARs were further apart?

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