Asymmetric competition causes multimodal size distributions in spatially structured populations

Velázquez, Jorge and Allen, Robert B. and Coomes, David A. and Eichhorn, Markus P. (2016) Asymmetric competition causes multimodal size distributions in spatially structured populations. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 283 (1823). ISSN 1471-2954

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Plant sizes within populations often exhibit multimodal distributions, even when all individuals are the same age and have experienced identical conditions. To establish the causes of this, we created an individual-based model simulating the growth of trees in a spatially explicit framework, which was parametrized using data from a long-term study of forest stands in New Zealand. First, we demonstrate that asymmetric resource competition is a

necessary condition for the formation of multimodal size distributions within cohorts. By contrast, the legacy of small-scale clustering during recruitment is transient and quickly overwhelmed by density-dependent mortality. Complex

multi-layered size distributions are generated when established individuals are restricted in the spatial domain within which they can capture resources. The number of modes reveals the effective number of direct competitors, while

the separation and spread of modes are influenced by distances among established individuals. Asymmetric competition within local neighbourhoods can therefore generate a range of complex size distributions within even-aged cohorts.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: bimodality, individual-based model, forests, Fuscospora cliffortioides, southern beech, zone-of-influence
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Life Sciences
University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Science > School of Physics and Astronomy
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Eichhorn, Markus
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2016 11:03
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 22:11

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