Spatial patterns occur in different ecosystems at various scales. In semi-arid ecosystems patterns in vegetation reflect the amount of water stress and how the ecosystem might respond to future changes. Another striking pattern in the African savanna is the regular arrangement of termite mounds across the landscape. The pattern arises from competition and conflict and results in optimal packing of termite mounds across the landscape. Mathematical modeling suggests that the spatial arrangement of the mounds makes the entire ecosystem more likely to withstand and recover from periods of drought.
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What controls the numbers and distributions of animals in their environment? How do animals interact with other species? How do natural patterns arise in nature? Find out in the 2015 Holiday Lectures on Science.
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