Gravitationally induced inflow in Starbursts and Agn
There is considerable evidence that the circumnuclear regions of galaxies are intimately related to their host galaxies, most directly through their bars. There is also convincing evidence for relations between the properties of supermassive black holes in the nuclei of galaxies and those of their host galaxies. It is much less clear, however, how stellar (starburst) and non-stellar (AGN) activity in the nuclear regions can be initiated and fuelled. Here, we review the evidence for gas transport from the disk to the nuclear and circumnuclear regions of galaxies, as well as the statistical relationships between the occurrence of nuclear activity and mechanisms which can cause central gas concentration. In particular, I explore the roles played by bars and interactions, and conclude that in specific, mostly extreme, cases bars and interactions are indeed observed to be connected to nuclear activity. The overall lack of observational evidence for direct causal relationships between the presence of bars and interactions on the one hand, and starburst or Seyfert activity on the other could, however, easily be due to the possibility that we are not yet considering the correct spatial- or time-scales.