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New Article: Front Instabilities Can Reverse Desertification

Degradation processes in living systems often take place gradually by front propagation. An important context of such processes is loss of biological productivity in drylands or desertification.

Using a dryland-vegetation model, the authors analyze the stability and dynamics of desertification fronts, identify linear and nonlinear front instabilities, and highlight the significance of these instabilities in inducing self-recovery. The results are based on the derivation and analysis of a universal amplitude equation for pattern-forming living systems for which nonuniform instabilities cannot emerge from the nonviable (zero) state.

The results may therefore be applicable to other contexts of animate matter where degradation processes occur by front propagation.

About: Plant propagation is the process of growing new plants from a variety of sources: seeds, cuttings, and other plant parts. Plant propagation can also refer to the artificial or natural dispersal of plants. 

Source: Cristian Fernandez-Oto, Omer Tzuk, and Ehud Meron; Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 048101 – Published 30 January 2019 ( access NOT OPEN)

Reference to this article: Vegetation Fingers’ Could Help Reverse Desertification, Israeli Scientists Say Scientists at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have shown in model studies that ecosystems may be rescued from collapsing to bare-soil, or desert states, by means of simple interventions at the desert border.

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