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Monday, August 16, 2010
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


Nonlinear Dynamics of Water-Limited Ecosystems

Ehud Meron
Ben-Gurion University

The impact of global climate change on ecosystem function and stability poses great challenges for current research in ecology. Of particular concern are processes involving desertification and biodiversity loss in drylands. Studies of these processes are hampered by the complexity of water-limited ecosystems, which generally involve several levels of organization and different spatial scales. In this talk I will present and discuss a platform of nonlinear mathematical models that capture these elements of water-limited ecosystems, and allow studying aspects of desertification and biodiversity-change phenomena. Specifically, I will discuss the emergence of vegetation patchiness as a symmetry-breaking pattern-formation phenomenon, and the implications of this phenomenon on state transitions and on landscape, resource and species diversity.

Host: Golan Bel