Vegetation Patterns in Earth's Drylands by Sarah Iams, Harvard University

Mathematics Faculty Seminar

Abstract:  In dryland ecosystems across multiple continents, vegetation forms spatial patterns in an apparent response to water scarcity.  Alternating stripes of vegetation separated by bare ground occur on length scales of approximately 100 meters, and evolve on timescales of decades to centuries.  Mathematical modeling is challenging in this ecological context, where dominant processes can be difficult to identify, where models of ecological processes may not be well-constrained by data, and where the dynamics are on a slow timescale relative to observational and human timescales.  I will present some partial differential equation models used for striped patterns in these ecosystems, will discuss model refinements influenced by remote sensing work, and will share some of our efforts to work towards a new generation of models for this system.

Friday, December 8 at 1:00pm to 1:45pm

Stetson Court classroom, 101
Stetson Court, Williamstown, MA, 01267

Event Type



Mathematics & Statistics

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Henry Art

Henry Art left a positive review 12/8/2017

Sarah's talk was excellent! Quite an interdisciplinary perspective on wave patterns in arid vegetation.