Late Lunch Talk: Vegetation systems driven by stochastic rainfall: some analytical results by Ben Schaffer, Princeton University
Late Lunch Talk by Ben Schaffer, Princeton University
The ability of plants to grow is dependent on the presence of sufficient water to meet their transpirative needs. In a dryland vegetated ecosystem, it is typically assumed that the dominant control on growth is water availability via precipitation; moreover, the precipitation is characterized not only by its total or average amount, but by its strongly intermittent and random nature. In this talk I will discuss the dynamics of soil moisture and vegetation biomass which arise in such a system, focusing on the analytical results for the probability distributions which are available for a minimalistic point model which we have developed. Particular emphasis will be given to the non-dimensional parameters which qualitatively influence the shape of the distributions, the joint distribution structure, and the implications for stability, feedbacks, and competition.