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Getzin, S., Wiegand, K., Wiegand, T., Yizhaq, H., Hardenberg, J. and Meron, E. 2015. Clarifying misunderstandings regarding vegetation self-organisation and spatial patterns of fairy circles in Namibia: A response to recent termite hypotheses. Ecological Entomology, 40: 669–675


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Clarifying misunderstandings regarding vegetation self-organisation and spatial patterns of fairy circles in Namibia: A response to recent termite hypotheses.

Summary / Notes:

Periodic vegetation patterns are a ubiquitous phenomenon inwater-limited regions around the world (Deblauweetal., 2008).For the world's drylands such as Namibia, Goudie and Viles(2015) highlight that patterns like banded vegetation stripesare extensively developed where mean annual rainfall rangesbetween circa 100 and 600 mm. Observational studies alongwith mathematical modelling strongly support the notion thatregular, nearly periodic vegetation patterns are large-scaleself-organisation phenomena that are driven by small-scaleecohydrological feedbacks resulting from plant competitionfor scarce soil water (Deblauweetal., 2008, 2011; Rietk-erk & van de Koppel, 2008; Meron, 2012). For example,a study by Deblauweetal.(2008) used data on the occur-rence of known periodic vegetation patterns together withdata on environmental factors to determine the environmen-tal drivers of their worldwide distribution. Their results con-firm that periodic patterned vegetation is mainly explainedby a combination of climatic variables and physical proper-ties of soil. Their modelled map extends to the dry NamibDesert with<100 mm mean annual precipitation (MAP) andcorrectly shows the potential fairy circle area within the accuracylimits of global data.

Year: 2015

Type: Journal Article

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