Turing Mechanism Explains Australian Fairy Circles, Researchers Find

A new paper in the British Ecological Society’s Journal of Ecology reveals that so-called fairy circles—periodic gap pattern in the arid grasslands of Namibia and Western Australia—regenerate following a Turing mechanism. According to the authors, the phenomenon can be explained with ecohydrological feedbacks and reaction‐diffusion models rooted in physics and pattern‐formation theory. “The grasses are actively engineering their own environment,” writes lead researcher Stephan Getzin.

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