Noise-induced vegetation patterns in fire-prone savannas

Paolo D'Odorico, Francisco Laio, Amilcare Porporato, Luca Ridolfi, Nicolas Barbier

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43 Scopus citations


The high degree of spatial organization of dryland vegetation has been often explained invoking a number of different deterministic mechanisms without ever explicitly addressing the role of noise in the process of pattern formation. Noise is usually believed to act on ecosystems as a source of disorganized random fluctuations. However, noise is also known for its ability to induce ordered states in nonlinear systems. An alternative mechanism is here proposed, which explains vegetation pattern formation in mesic and subhumid savannas as the joint effect of fire randomness and fire-vegetation feedbacks. This mechanism is purely noise-induced and has no deterministic counterpart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberG02021
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 28 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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