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Tree¿grass interaction dynamics and pulsed fires: Mathematical and numerical studies

Tchuinte Tamen A., Dumont Y., Tewa J.J., Bowong S., Couteron P.. 2016. Applied Mathematical Modelling, 40 (11-12) : p. 6165-6197.

Savannas are dynamical systems where grasses and trees can either dominate or coexist. Fires are known to be central in the functioning of the savanna biome although their characteristics are expected to vary along the rainfall gradients as observed in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this paper, we model the tree¿grass dynamics using impulsive differential equations that consider fires as discrete events. This framework allows us to carry out a comprehensive qualitative mathematical analysis that revealed more diverse possible outcomes than the analogous continuous model. We investigated local and global properties of the equilibria and we showed that various states exist for the physiognomy of vegetation. Though several shifts between vegetation states appeared to be determined by fire periodicity, we showed that direct shading of grasses by trees is also an influential process embodied in the model by a competition parameter leading to bifurcations. Relying on a suitable nonstandard simulation scheme, we carried out numerical simulations in reference to three main climatic zones as observable in Central Africa. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : méthode statistique; modèle de simulation; dynamique des populations; précipitation; pluviométrie; incendie spontané; compétition végétale; herbage; écosystème forestier; forêt tropicale; savane; afrique au sud du sahara; afrique centrale

Thématique : Foresterie - Considérations générales; Ecologie végétale; Méthodes mathématiques et statistiques

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