Tree-grass coexistence in savannas: The role of spatial dynamics and climate fluctuations

Ignacio Rodríguez-Iturbe, Paolo D'Odorico, Amilcare Michele M. Porporato, Luca Ridolfi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-250
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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