Vegetation front dynamics

Martin, Luis (Supervisor: Damià Gomila)
Master Thesis (2019)

Nowadays marine ecosystems are being threatened due to climate change, water
pollution, coastal tourism and many other issues caused by human activities. Seagrasses
are one of the most injured specie, with losses surpassing 30% during the
last 50 years. In this thesis we study the dynamics governing the growth and evolution
of one of these species, the Posidonia oceanica, which is the most predominant in
the Mediterranean sea. Side-scan images show evidences of the typical clonal plant
behavior in which the vegetation develops spatial patterns in order to achieve an
optimal distribution of the resources. Using a simple model we study these structures
by numerical simulations in one and two dimensions. During the thesis we focus
on the different front dynamics in order to understand how the different spatial
distribution domains encompassing the meadow behave when they are confronted.
Knowledge on front dynamics and under which conditions the different patterns
appear provide the required tools to predict the growth and evolution of seagrass

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