Modeling dryland landscapes Academic Article uri icon


  • The discovery of nearly periodic vegetation patterns in arid and semi-arid regions moti- vated numerous model studies in the past decade. Most studies have focused on vegetation pattern formation, and on the response of vegetation patterns to gradients of the limiting water resource. The reciprocal question, what resource modifications are induced by vegetation pattern formation, which is essential to the understanding of dryland landscapes, has hardly been addressed. This paper is a synthetic review of model studies that address this question and the consequent im- plications for inter-specific plant interactions and species diversity. It focuses both on patch and landscape scales, highlighting bottom-up processes, where plant interactions at the patch scale give rise to spatial patterns at the landscape scale, and top-down processes, where pattern transitions at the landscape scale affect inter-specific interactions at the patch scale.

publication date

  • January 1, 2011