Pattern formation in clonal plants

Schönsberg, Francesca (Supervisors: Gomila, D. and Hernandez-Garcia, E.)
Master Thesis (2016)

The precise dynamical features emerging from meadows of seagrasses (marine clonal plants) are not well understood. Research on modeling clonal plants tries to define the relative contribution of the different natural components on the global development of a meadow as well as on its extinction.
To this day, no model is providing a simple, analytically tractable, comprehensive description of the dynamical features emerging from seagrasses.
In the following thesis we approach this gap, inspired by the numerical results of a recent model (ABD model) (Ruiz et al., 2016). Speciffically, starting from the numerical bifurcation and phase diagrams of the ABD model we build a single partial differential equation reproducing the behavior. In particular, we expose the analytical and numerical arguments verifying the compatibility of the two models. Overall, we show that the complex dynamical behavior emerging in the growth of seagrass meadows can be reduced to a single equation, thus providing a possible predictive tool for designing
effective re-population strategies and prevent extinctions.

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