Hammond, Sean T. , Niklas, Karl J. .
Emergent scaling relationships from plants competing in silico for space and light.
A spatially explicit, reiterative algorithm (SERA) is presented and used for the first time to predict multiple aspects of plant ensemble dynamics and allometry. Using a few simple physical principles and the amount of incident sunlight received per plant to calculate growth and biomass partitioning to vegetative and reproductive compartments, SERA simulations show that individual-level features scale up to accurately predict population or community self-thinning and size-frequency distributions as well as the scaling exponents for age- and size-dependent relationships, the competitive exclusion of conifers by angiosperms, and the age at which reproductive maturity is achieved. SERA simulations provide an analytical venue to test alternative hypotheses about functional traits governing ecological or evolutionary success. They also show that biologically complex phenomena including wide-spread scaling relationships, can emerge from the operation of very simple and transparent “rules” governing competition for space and light.
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1 - Cornell University, Department of Plant Biology, 412 Mann LIbrary, Tower Road, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Location: Alpine B/Snowbird Center
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 8:15 AM