- A new model for vegetation patterns is introduced. The model reproduces a wide range of patterns observed in water-limited regions, including drifting bands, spots, and labyrinths. It predicts transitions from bare soil at low precipitation to homogeneous vegetation at high precipitation, through intermediate states of spot, stripe, and hole patterns. It also predicts wide precipitation ranges where different stable states coexist. Using these predictions we propose a novel explanation of desertification phenomena and a new approach to classifying aridity.