Clarifying misunderstandings regarding vegetation self-organisation and spatial patterns of fairy circles in Namibia: a response to recent termite hypotheses Academic Article uri icon


  • Periodic vegetation patterns are a ubiquitous phenomenon in water-limited regions around the world (Deblauwe et al., 2008). For the world's drylands such as Namibia, Goudie and Viles (2015) highlight that patterns like banded vegetation stripes are extensively developed where mean annual rainfall ranges between circa 100 and 600mm. Observational studies along with mathematical modelling strongly support the notion that regular, nearly periodic vegetation patterns are large-scale self-organisation phenomena that are driven by small- scale ecohydrological feedbacks resulting from plant competition for scarce soil water (Deblauwe et al., 2008, 2011; Rietkerk & van de Koppel, 2008; Meron, 2012). For example, a study by Deblauwe et al.(2008) used data on the occurrence of known periodic vegetation patterns together with data on environmental factors to determine the environmental …

publication date

  • January 1, 2015