Patterned vegetation and rainfall intermittency

A. Y. Kletter, J. von Hardenberg, E. Meron, A. Provenzale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


We study a mathematical model for the dynamics of patterned dryland vegetation in the presence of rainfall intermittency, adopting a spatially explicit approach. We find that most results found for constant precipitation carry over to the case of intermittent rainfall, with a few important novelties. For intermittent precipitation, the functional forms of the water uptake and consequently of the vegetation growth rate play an important role. Nonlinear, concave-up forms of water uptake as a function of soil moisture lead to a beneficial effect of rainfall intermittency, with a stronger effect when vegetation feedbacks are absent. The results obtained with the explicit-space model employed here are in keeping with those provided by simpler, implicit-space approaches, and provide a more complete view of vegetation dynamics in arid ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-583
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 21 Feb 2009


  • Drylands
  • Ecosystem modeling
  • Rainfall
  • Spatial-temporal patterns
  • Vegetation dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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