Fragmentation followed by desertification in water-limited resources and/or nutrient-poor ecosystems is a major risk to the biological productivity of vegetation. By using the vegetation interaction-redistribution model, Marcel Clerc and his Nonlinear Physics group analyze the interaction between localized vegetation patches. They show analytically and numerically that the interaction between two or more patches is always repulsive. As a consequence, only a single localized vegetation patch is stable, and other localized bounded states or clusters of them are unstable. Following this, they discuss the impact of the repulsive nature of the interaction on the formation and the selection of vegetation patterns in fragmented ecosystems.

The potential applications of Marcel’s work for understanding droughts have been highlighted in local news outlets (in Spanish).

The results are published in Scientific Reports.