Spatial patterns in savannas may increase ecosystem resilience and reverse the transition of ecosystem states
Worldwide, savannas occupy about one eighth of the land surface, but vegetation distribution in this biome is not properly understood. Moreover, land use and climate change are shifting vegetation characteristics and their spatial distribution. Also, at the savanna-forest boundary, spatial heterogeneity requires closer study. The EU-funded SpatialSAVE project will study how the dynamic interaction of vegetation with its environment leads to the spatial organisation of vegetation in the savannas, including at the savanna-forest transition zone. Building on recent findings, it will explore the significance of these patterned structures in increasing ecosystem resilience and reversing the transition of ecosystem states. The research will provide fundamental insights into the savanna dynamics, potentially opening up novel avenues in savanna conservation research.