Vegetative Rhombic Pattern Formation Driven by Root Suction for an Interaction-Diffusion Plant-Ground Water Model System in an Arid Flat Environment


A rhombic planform nonlinear cross-diffusive instability analysis is applied to a particular interaction-diffusion plant-ground water model system in an arid flat environment. This model contains a plant root suction effect as a cross-diffusion term in the ground water equation. In addition a threshold-dependent paradigm that differs from the usually employed implicit zero-threshold methodology is introduced to interpret stable rhombic patterns. These patterns are driven by root suction since the plant equation does not yield the required positive feedback necessary for the generation of standard Turing-type self-diffusive instabilities. The results of that analysis can be represented by plots in a root suction coefficient versus rainfall rate dimensionless parameter space. From those plots regions corresponding to bare ground and vegetative patterns consisting of isolated patches, rhombic arrays of pseudo spots or gaps separated by an intermediate rectangular state, and homogeneous distributions from low to high density may be identified in this parameter space. Then, a morphological sequence of stable vegetative states is produced upon traversing an experimentally-determined root suction characteristic curve as a function of rainfall through these regions. Finally, that predicted sequence along a rainfall gradient is compared with observational evidence relevant to the occurrence of leopard bush, pearled bush, or labyrinthine tiger bush vegetative patterns, used to motivate an aridity classification scheme, and placed in the context of some recent biological nonlinear pattern formation studies.

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Chaiya, I. , Wollkind, D. , Cangelosi, R. , Kealy-Dichone, B. and Rattanakul, C. (2015) Vegetative Rhombic Pattern Formation Driven by Root Suction for an Interaction-Diffusion Plant-Ground Water Model System in an Arid Flat Environment. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 6, 1278-1300. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2015.68129.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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