The relative importance of seed competition, resource competition and perturbations on community structure

Bohn, K., Dyke, J.G., Pavlick, R., Reineking, B., Reu, B. and Kleidon, A. (2011) The relative importance of seed competition, resource competition and perturbations on community structure Biogeosciences, 8, (5), pp. 1107-1120. (doi:10.5194/bg-8-1107-2011).


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While the regional climate is the primary selection pressure for whether a plant strategy can survive, however, competitive interactions strongly affect the relative abundances of plant strategies within communities. Here, we investigate the relative importance of competition and perturbations on the development of vegetation community structure. To do so, we develop DIVE (Dynamics and Interactions of VEgetation), a simple general model that links plant strategies to their competitive dynamics, using growth and reproduction characteristics that emerge from climatic constraints. The model calculates population dynamics based on establishment, mortality, invasion and exclusion in the presence of different strengths of perturbations, seed and resource competition. The highest levels of diversity were found in simulations without competition as long as mortality is not too high. However, reasonable successional dynamics were only achieved when resource competition is considered. Under high levels of competition, intermediate levels of perturbations were required to obtain coexistence. Since succession and coexistence are observed in plant communities, we conclude that the DIVE model with competition and intermediate levels of perturbation represents an adequate way to model population dynamics. Because of the simplicity and generality of DIVE, it could be used to understand vegetation structure and functioning at the global scale and the response of vegetation to global change.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.5194/bg-8-1107-2011
ISSNs: 1726-4170 (print)

Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity
ePrint ID: 272883
Date :
Date Event
11 May 2011Published
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2011 13:36
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 17:38
Further Information:Google Scholar

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