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Spatial Interactions and resilience in arid ecosystems

Van de Koppel, J. and Rietkerk, M. (2004) Spatial Interactions and resilience in arid ecosystems. American Naturalist, 163, 113-121. ISSN 0003-0147.

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We present a mathematical analysis of the consequences of spatial interactions between vegetation patches by means of water flow for the functioning of arid systems. Our model results suggest that spatial exchange of water improved the resilience to disturbances and increased the resistance to human-induced loss of cover. Furthermore, spatial exchange of water allowed vegetation to persist at lower rainfall levels compared to systems that lack spatial interactions. Our analysis stresses the general importance of spatial interactions for the functioning of ecological systems [KEYWORDS: positive feedback, spatial model, spatial scale, vegetation collapse, vegetation patterns]

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:11591
Deposited On:23 Nov 2011 01:00
Last Modified:14 Oct 2013 15:25

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