The codominance of trees and grasses in savannas is explained as resulting from the minimization of vegetation stress. It is shown that under different climate, soil and vegetation conditions local interactions dictated by the spatial competition for soil moisture lead to an optimal state of minimum global water stress involving a stable coexistence of trees and grasses. The optimal state matches the observed canopy cover and soil moisture characteristics. Moreover, changes in canopy cover in the savanna environments are also suggested to result from climate fluctuations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)