Fairy circle landscapes under the sea

Daniel Ruiz-Reynés, Damià Gomila, Tomàs Sintes, Emilio Hernández-García, Núria Marbà, Carlos M. Duarte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Short-scale interactions yield large-scale vegetation patterns that, in turn, shape ecosystem function across landscapes. Fairy circles, which are circular patches bare of vegetation within otherwise continuous landscapes, are characteristic features of semiarid grasslands. We report the occurrence of submarine fairy circle seascapes in seagrass meadows and propose a simple model that reproduces the diversity of seascapes observed in these ecosystems as emerging from plant interactions within the meadow. These seascapes include two extreme cases, a continuous meadow and a bare landscape, along with intermediate states that range from the occurrence of persistent but isolated fairy circles, or solitons, to seascapes with multiple fairy circles, banded vegetation, and
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1603262
JournalScience advances
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2 2017

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: D.R.-R., D.G., T.S., E.H.-G., and N.M. acknowledge financial support from AEI/FEDER [Agencia Estatal de Investigación/Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional, European Union (EU)] (FIS2015-63628-C2-1-R, FIS2015-63628-C2-2-R, and CGL2015-71809-P). C.M.D. was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology through the baseline funding.


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