Emergence and complexity in dryland ecosystems
Professor, Department of Solar Energy and Environmental Physics
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Dryland ecosystems exhibit complex relationships between flora, fauna, and resources that may involve self-organization in spatial patterns. The emergence of spatial patterns is a ubiquitous phenomenon in nature, ranging from nanometerscale patterns in insect corneas to kilometer-scale cloud patterns. Two striking examples in drylands are banded vegetation on hill slopes and nearly hexagonal patterns of
bare-soil gaps in grasslands (“fairy circles”). Understanding the emergence of spatial patterns and their possible roles in ecosystem function is of outmost importance in current times of global climate change and massive human intervention in ecosystems.
This talk will discuss small-scale feedbacks between vegetation growth and water transport, and demonstrate in model simulations the large-scale periodic patterns that these feedbacks lead to. It will further discuss the variety of regular and irregular patterns that can emerge along the rainfall gradient, and highlight a basic principle underlying the transitions from one pattern to another. It will conclude
with a brief discussion of the implications of vegetation patterning to ecosystem function, focusing on reversing desertification and sustainable human intervention.
Transboundary integrative basin planning: Master plans for the Kidron/Elnar and the Yarqon/Eluja basins
Architect and Planner
In this talk, Architect Liora Meron will discuss transboundary master plans for the two basins. The master plans offer integration of eco-hydrological, environmental, planning and social aspects into unified plans that are necessary for basin management. The plans also propose a fabric of achievable ecosystem services and highlight the significance of lsraeli-Palestinian cooperation around environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues.
About the Speaker
Liora received her architectural and planning degree in 1978 from the School of Architecture and Planning at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology – and her MA degree in 1994 from the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona (in collaboration with the School of Natural Resources and the Environment). Her work experience includes various architectural projects as well as town and environmental planning for the public and private sectors.