One-dimensional daisyworld: spatial interactions and pattern formation

B. Adams, J. Carr, T. M. Lenton, A. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (SciVal)


The zero-dimensional daisyworld model of Watson and Lovelock (1983) demonstrates that life can unconsciously regulate a global environment. Here that model is extended to one dimension, incorporating a distribution of incoming solar radiation and diffusion of heat consistent with a spherical planet. Global regulatory properties of the original model are retained. The daisy populations are initially restricted to hospitable regions of the surface but exert both global and local feedback to increase this habitable area, eventually colonizing the whole surface. The introduction of heat diffusion destabilizes the coexistence equilibrium of the two daisy types. In response, a striped pattern consisting of blocks of all black or all white daisies emerges. There are two mechanisms behind this pattern formation. Both are connected to the stability of the system and an overview of the mathematics involved is presented. Numerical experiments show that this pattern is globally determined. Perturbations in one region have an impact over the whole surface but the regulatory properties of the system are not compromised by transient perturbations. The relevance of these results to the Earth and the wider climate modelling field is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-513
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2003


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