Stable planar vegetation stripe patterns on sloped terrain in dryland ecosystems

Robbin Bastiaansen, Paul Carter, Arjen Doelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In water-limited regions, competition for water resources results in the formation of vegetation patterns; on sloped terrain, one finds that the vegetation typically aligns in stripes or arcs. We consider a two-component reaction-diffusion-advection model of Klausmeier type describing the interplay of vegetation and water resources and the resulting dynamics of these patterns. We focus on the large advection limit on constantly sloped terrain, in which the diffusion of water is neglected in favor of advection of water downslope. Planar vegetation pattern solutions are shown to satisfy an associated singularly perturbed traveling wave equation, and we construct a variety of traveling stripe and front solutions using methods of geometric singular perturbation theory. In contrast to prior studies of similar models, we show that the resulting patterns are spectrally stable to perturbations in two spatial dimensions using exponential dichotomies and Lin's method. We also discuss implications for the appearance of curved stripe patterns on slopes in the absence of terrain curvature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2759-2814
Number of pages56
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 17 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Lin s method
  • geometric singular perturbation theory
  • pattern formation
  • reaction-diffusion-advection equations
  • spectral stability
  • traveling waves

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