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On the usefulness of a minimalistic model to study tree-grass biomass distributions along biogeographic gradients in the savanna biome

Abstract : We present and analyze a model aiming at recovering as dynamical outcomes of tree-grass interactions the wide range of vegetation physiognomies observable in the savanna biome along rainfall gradients at regional/continental scales. The model is based on two ordinary differential equations (ODE), for woody and grass biomass. It is parameterized from literature and retains mathematical tractability, since we restricted it to the main processes, notably tree-grass asym-metric interactions (either facilitative or competitive) and the grass-fire feedback. We used a fully qualitative analysis to derive all possible long term dynamics and express them in a bifur-cation diagram in relation to mean annual rainfall and fire frequency. We delineated domains of monostability (forest, grassland, savanna), of bistability (e.g. forest-grassland or forest-savanna) and even tristability. Notably, we highlighted regions in which two savanna equilibria may be jointly stable (possibly in addition to forest or grassland). We verified that common knowledge about decreasing woody biomass with increasing fire frequency is recovered for all levels of rainfall, contrary to previous attempts using analogous ODE frameworks. Thus, this framework appears able to render more realistic and diversified outcomes than often thought of. Our model can help figure out the ongoing dynamics of savanna vegetation in large territories for which local data are sparse or absent. To explore the bifurcation diagram with different combinations of the model parameters, we have developed a user-friendly R-Shiny application freely available at : https://gitlab.com/cirad-apps/tree-grass.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02570303
Contributor : Yves Dumont <>
Submitted on : Monday, May 11, 2020 - 11:14:09 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 2, 2020 - 1:57:40 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-02570303, version 1

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Ivric Valaire Yatat Djeumen, Yves Dumont, Anna Doizy, Pierre Couteron. On the usefulness of a minimalistic model to study tree-grass biomass distributions along biogeographic gradients in the savanna biome. 2020. ⟨hal-02570303⟩

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