Localized vegetation patterns, fairy circles, and localized patches in arid landscapes

D. Escaff, C. Fernandez-Oto, M. G. Clerc, M. Tlidi

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30 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigate the formation of localized structures with varying widths in one- and two-dimensional systems. The mechanism of stabilization is attributed to strongly nonlocal coupling mediated by a Lorentzian type of kernel. We show that, in addition to stable dips found recently [see, e.g. Fernandez-Oto, Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 174101 (2013)PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.110.174101], there are stable localized peaks which appear as a result of strongly nonlocal coupling. We applied this mechanism to arid ecosystems by considering a prototype model of a Nagumo type. In one dimension, we study the front connecting the stable uniformly vegetated state to the bare one under the effect of strongly nonlocal coupling. We show that strongly nonlocal coupling stabilizes both - dip and peak - localized structures. We show analytically and numerically that the width of a localized structure, which we interpret as a fairy circle, increases strongly with the aridity parameter. This prediction is in agreement with published observations. In addition, we predict that the width of localized patch decreases with the degree of aridity. Numerical results are in close agreement with analytical predictions.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume91
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 26 Feb 2015

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