Banded Vegetation Patterning in Arid and Semiarid Environments

Volume 149 of the series Ecological Studies pp 20-31

Theories on the Origins, Maintenance, Dynamics, and Functioning of Banded Landscapes

  • David J. Tongway
  • , John A. Ludwig

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In this chapter, we explore the whys and hows of banded landscapes: (1) why do they form? (2) how are they maintained? (3) how do they move? (4) how do they work to conserve resources? In addition, we discuss how understanding these processes contributes to advancing heterogeneity theory in landscape ecology generally. Where banded landscapes occur and what forms they take were described in chapter 1. Such landscapes occur in Africa, Australia, and the Americas, and perhaps elsewhere, and are often called two-phase mosaics because they form bands of bare soil alternating with bands of perennial vegetation. They tend to be situated on low planar slopes and are characterized by the long axis of the bands being oriented along the contours of these slopes.