Namibian fairy circle debate rages on: Sand termites or Turing mechanism?

In the Namib Desert and northwestern Australia, there are mysterious circular patches known as “fairy circles” that have sparked scientific debate. Some scientists believe that sand termites are responsible for these patterns, while others argue that they are a self-organizing ecological phenomenon known as a Turing pattern. A recent paper published in the journal Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics challenges the 2022 findings that supported the Turing pattern hypothesis, suggesting that sand termites may still be the cause. The debate between these opposing camps has been intense, as it is difficult to definitively prove the cause of a complex and long-lived ecological pattern.

To top