Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : We model the non-local dynamics of vegetation communities and interpret the formation of vegetation patterns as a spatial instability of intrinsic origin: the wavelength of the patterns predicted within the framework of this approach is determined by the parameters governing the dynamics rather than by boundary conditions and/or geometrical constraints. The spatial periodicity results from an interplay between short-range co-operative interactions and long-range self-inhibitory interactions inside the vegetation community. The influence of environmental anisotropies on pattern symmetry and orientation is discussed. As a case study, the approach is applied to a system of vegetation bands situated in the north-west of Burkina Faso. The parameters describing the co-operative and inhibitory interactions at the origin of the patterns are evaluated.