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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(More)
A mathematical model for plant communities in water-limited systems is introduced and applied to a mixed woody-herbaceous community. Two feedbacks between biomass and water are found to be of crucial importance for understanding woody-herbaceous interactions: water uptake by plants' roots and increased water infiltration at vegetation patches. The former(More)
Recent studies demonstrate positive density-dependent feedbacks between animal populations and their resource supply that result in increased individual fitness at high densities. Such feedbacks occur in both terrestrial and aquatic organisms not showing strong social organization. A number of different mechanisms are involved. Detecting positive feedbacks(More)
The Mediterranean landscape is characterized by a heterogeneous structure: a mosaic of woody plants (trees or shrubs) with scattered patches of herbaceous vegetation. Although the herbaceous and woody patches are adjacent to each other, plant species composition in them is substantially different. This could be attributed to either differences in(More)
Understanding biotic influences on soil processes is a major research frontier made challenging by organismal diversity, variation in distribution, and variety of interactions. Nevertheless, two fundamental influences can be recognized: assimilation/ dissimilation (uptake, metabolism, wastes, death) and physical ecosystem engineering(More)
Woody vegetation, as an ecosystem engineer, can modulate the landscape such that the levels of resources in its vicinity undergo positive and negative changes as far as the herbaceous vegetation is concerned. To better understand how these processes play out in a semi-arid ecosystem, we examined resource modulation by woody vegetation, and the response of(More)
Drought events cause changes in ecosystem function and structure by reducing the shrub abundance and expanding the biological soil crusts (biocrusts). This change increases the leakage of nutrient resources and water into the river streams in semi-arid areas. A common management solution for decreasing this loss of resources is to create a runoff-harvesting(More)
Landscape modulators are ecosystem engineers that create distinct patches that differ from their surroundings in abiotic conditions and species composition. Woody plants are principal landscape modulators in many terrestrial ecosystems. The effects of woody landscape modulators on herbaceous species richness have been studied at the site level in Israel.(More)
1 The effect of physical ecosystem engineering – structurally mediated modification of the abiotic environment by organisms – on species richness and composition probably depends on the area of observation and environmental context. 2 We develop specific hypotheses to evaluate how such effects will vary with spatial scale and environmental variability, and(More)
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