Linking spatial self-organization to community assembly and biodiversity
Temporal shifts to drier climates impose environmental stresses on plant communities that may result in community reassembly and threatened ecosystem services, but also may trigger self-organization in spatial patterns of biota and resources, which act to relax these stresses. The complex relationships between these counteracting processes - community reassembly and spatial self-organization - have hardly been studied. Using a spatio-temporal model of dryland plant communities and a trait-based approach, we study the response of such communities to increasing water-deficit stress. We first show that spatial patterning acts to reverse shifts from fast-growing species to stress-tolerant species, as well as to reverse functional-diversity loss. We then show that spatial self-organization buffers the impact of further stress on community structure. Finally, we identify multistability ranges of uniform and patterned community states and use them to propose forms of non-uniform ecosystem management that integrate the need for provisioning ecosystem services with the need to preserve community structure.
The current manuscript is a computational study, so no data have been generated for this manuscript. Modelling code is uploaded to github
PPython codes for a single functional-group model and for the plant community modelbidesh001 / Plant-community-model.
Article and author information
Irsael Science Foundation (1053/17)
- Bidesh K Bera
PBC Postdoctoral Fellowship
- Bidesh K Bera
Kreitman Postdoctoral Fellowship
- Jamie J R Bennett
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Bernhard Schmid, University of Zurich, Switzerland
- Preprint posted: June 20, 2021 (view preprint)
- Received: September 13, 2021
- Accepted: September 19, 2021
- Accepted Manuscript published: September 27, 2021 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: October 7, 2021 (version 2)
© 2021, Bera et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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