Models are developed for the dynamics of multi-species communities of annual plants that lack seed dormancy. These models explicitly include plastic plant growth, the spatial distribution of individuals, and the fact that individuals interact primarily with nearby individuals. Because the models are based on submodels of individual plants (fecundity, survivorship and dispersal, and how these are affected by inter-individual interactions), they provide explanations of community-level phenomena in terms of the biology of individuals. All model parameters and functional forms may be estimated from data obtained in simple experiments of a single years's duration. The models are used to examine the community-level consequences of some types of inter-individual interactions that have been reported in the ecological literature. In addition, the models are used to demonstrate that dispersal may markedly influence the outcome of competition among plant species, even in a physically homogeneous environment, due to an effect of dispersal on the spatial distribution of individuals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics