Vegetation pattern formation in semiarid systems without facilitative mechanisms

Martínez-García, Ricardo; Calabrese, Justin M.; Hernández-García, Emilio; López, Cristóbal
Geophysical Research Letters 40, 6143-6147 (2013)

Regular vegetation patterns in semiarid ecosystems are believed to arise
from the interplay between long-range competition and facilitation processes
acting at smaller distances. We show that, under rather general
conditions, long-range competition alone may be enough to shape these
patterns. To this end we propose a simple, general model for the dynamics of
vegetation, which includes only long-range competition between plants. Competition is introduced
through a nonlocal term, where the kernel function quantifies the
intensity of the interaction. We recover the full
spectrum of spatial structures typical of vegetation models
that also account for facilitation in addition to competition.

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