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Bull Math Biol. 2014 Nov;76(11):2866-83. doi: 10.1007/s11538-014-0036-6. Epub 2014 Oct 23.

Vegetation pattern formation due to interactions between water availability and toxicity in plant-soil feedback.

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Department of Mathematics and Applications "R. Caccioppoli", University of Naples Federico II, Via Cintia, 80126, Naples, Italy,


Development of a comprehensive theory of the formation of vegetation patterns is still in progress. A prevailing view is to treat water availability as the main causal factor for the emergence of vegetation patterns. While successful in capturing the occurrence of multiple vegetation patterns in arid and semiarid regions, this hypothesis fails to explain the presence of vegetation patterns in humid environments. We explore the rich structure of a toxicity-mediated model of the vegetation pattern formation. This model consists of three PDEs accounting for a dynamic balance between biomass, water, and toxic compounds. Different (ecologically feasible) regions of the model's parameter space give rise to stable spatial vegetation patterns in Turing and non-Turing regimes. Strong negative feedback gives rise to dynamic spatial patterns that continuously move in space while retaining their stable topology.

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