Front Instabilities Can Reverse Desertification

Cristian Fernandez-Oto, Omer Tzuk, Ehud Meron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Degradation processes in living systems often take place gradually by front propagation. An important context of such processes is loss of biological productivity in drylands or desertification. Using a dryland-vegetation model, we analyze the stability and dynamics of desertification fronts, identify linear and nonlinear front instabilities, and highlight the significance of these instabilities in inducing self-recovery. The results are based on the derivation and analysis of a universal amplitude equation for pattern-forming living systems for which nonuniform instabilities cannot emerge from the nonviable (zero) state. The results may therefore be applicable to other contexts of animate matter where degradation processes occur by front propagation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number048101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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