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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)
Habitat and species richness in drylands are affected by the dynamics of a few key species, termed "ecosystem engineers." These species modulate the landscape and redistribute the water resources so as to allow the introduction of other species. A mathematical model is developed for a pair of ecosystem engineers commonly found in drylands: plants forming(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)
In this article, we develop a unifying framework for the understanding of spatial vegetation patterns in heterogeneous landscapes. While much recent research has focused on self-organised vegetation the prevailing view is still that biological patchiness is mostly due to top-down control by the physical landscape template, disturbances or predators. We(More)
We examine the role of the sit and wait foraging strategy and of the stability and predictability of the biotic environment in shaping population biology and life history traits of the desert scorpion, Scorpio maurus palmatus. The study was carried out in a loessial plain in the Negev desert, Israel. We used a grid system (5x80 m) within the Hammada(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)
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 influence of temporal and spatial heterogeneity in seed availability on the foraging behaviour of the harvester ant Messor arenarius was studied in an arid shrubland in the Negev Desert, Israel. The study investigated the implications of behavioural responses to heterogeneity in seed availability for the seed predation process and the potential for(More)