Vegetation patterns

Spatial Ecology

We study spatial models of ecological processes for two reasons. First, some processes such as biological invasions and pattern formation are inherently spatial. Second, species interact with each other and the environment over a short spatial range. This localized nature can change our understanding of how species interact.

My work in this area began with a focus on terrestrial plants and particular emphasis on metapopulations, habitat destruction, and spatial pattern formation in my Ph.D. thesis with Claudia Neuhauser and Dave Tilman. Since then, we have continued this work as particularly applied to the vertical distribution of phytoplankton.


Lab Members

Christopher Klausmeier


Claudia Neuhauser (U of Minnesota), David Tilman (U of Minnesota)


Klausmeier, C. A. 1998. Extinction in multispecies and spatially explicit models of habitat destruction. American Naturalist 152: 303-310.

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Klausmeier, C. A. 1999. Regular and irregular patterns in semiarid vegetation. Science 284: 1826-1828.

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Klausmeier, C. A. 2001. Habitat destruction and extinction in competitive and mutualistic metacommunities. Ecology Letters 4: 57-63.

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Klausmeier, C.A. and E. Litchman. 2001. Algal games: the vertical distribution of phytoplankton in poorly mixed water columns. Limnology and Oceanography, 46: 1998-2007.

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Klausmeier, C. A., and D. Tilman. 2002. Spatial models of competition. pp. 43-78 in eds. U. Sommer and B. Worm, Competition and Coexistence, Springer-Verlag.

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van de Koppel, J., and 11 others. 2002. Spatial interaction and vegetation collapse. American Naturalist 159: 209-218.

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Last updated: December 19, 2006