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The legacy of Enrico Fermi. The challenges of the future

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CREF promotes original and high-impact lines of research, based on physical methods, but with a strong interdisciplinary character and in relation to the main problems of the modern knowledge society.

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The CREF was born with a dual soul: a research centre and a historical museum. Its aim is to preserve and disseminate the memory of Enrico Fermi and to promote the dissemination and communication of scientific culture.

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Evidence of scale-free clusters of vegetation in tropical rainforests

Tropical rainforests exhibit a rich repertoire of spatial patterns emerging from the intricate relationship between the microscopic interaction between species. In particular, the distribution of vegetation clusters can shed much light on the underlying process that regulates the ecosystem. Analyzing the distribution of vegetation clusters at different resolution scales, we show the first robust evidence of scale-invariant clusters of vegetation, suggesting the coexistence of multiple intertwined scales in the collective dynamics of tropical rainforests. We use field data and computational simulations to confirm our hypothesis, proposing a predictor that could be particularly interesting to monitor the ecological resilience of the world’s “green lungs.”

Read the full paper on Physical Review E


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