Spatially Explicit Modeling of Savanna Processes
Savannas are inherently spatially variable regardless of where they occur (Sinclair and Fryxell, 1985; Jeltsch et al., 1997; Wiegand et al., 2000a; Ward 2009; Figure 14.1). Therefore, models of savanna processes and patterns often explicitly address spatial variation. In this chapter, we will first give an overview of the features of savannas that show spatial variation. We will then present evidence for the importance of spatial variation in savannas, because presence of spatial variation does not necessarily imply importance for savanna dynamics. In the main part of the chapter, we will explain the spatial modeling techniques that have been applied to savannas, give examples of their application, and discuss their strengths and limitations.