CCSS Colloquium: Rainfall and wildfires as stochastic intermittent perturbations to plant dynamical systems


This colloquium will be given by Dr. Mara Baudena during her academic visit to our CCSS invited by our associate members Dr. Ivan Kryven and Dr. Anna von der Heydt.


Dr. Mara Baudena is a researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (CNR-ISAC) in Turin, Italy. With her current research Baudena aims to predict how different terrestrial ecosystems actively respond to global environmental change. Baudena focuses mostly on plant ecosystems in drylands, savannas and Mediterranean forests. Baudena is interested in studying the complex ecosystem dynamics emerging from plant-plant and plant-environment interactions.


In this talk, I will illustrate how plants respond to drought in drylands, and how wildfires will influence plant communities and their recovery. Both topics are of uttermost social and ecological relevance, given the predicted effects of climate change on global drylands and on wildfires. Technically, both fires and rainfall events can be represented as pulse (delta-like) perturbations to dynamical systems, represented by stochastic differential equations. Rainfall is an intermittent input of water for the soil and plants. Plants are well adapted to the nonlinear input of water, which promotes survival and sustains biodiversity in drylands. Wildfires might shift the recovery trajectory of forests to an alternative ecosystem state, for example a savanna in the tropics or an open shrubland in the Mediterranean Basin. This potential shift is strictly connected not only to the changing climatic conditions but also to the specific plant-fire responses.

Meeting Details

There will be 45-min lecture from each speaker, followed by a 15-min Question & Answer session.

To attend the lecture, you can come to the CCSS Living Room (Minnaert 4.16).

The lunch is FREE for all participants, but please register before 15:00 Thursday 9th June.

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Centre for Complex Systems Studies, Room 4.16, Minnaert Building