The Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Eprints Archive

Modelling rainforests

Bampfylde, C. J. (1999) Modelling rainforests. Masters thesis, University of Oxford.

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Abstract

In this dissertation, we develop a competition-colonisation model to describe the dynamics of interactions between tropical rainforest tree species.

There is a great deal of interest in modelling rainforest diversity. Understanding the natural processes that maintain diversity is essential so that sustainable management systems can attempt to replicate important processes.

We find, through numerical investigation and analysis, that with constant colonisation rates, $c_i$, we cannot predict multiple species coexistence. The inclusion of decaying colonisation rates, describing the seedling population decay over time, and random mass fruiting events allows coexistence of species, but using unrealistic parameter values. Finally we investigate a mathematical model without any competition between species and find that, using realistic parameter values, our results qualitatively mimic observations of rainforest dynamics. The results of the no competition model support Hubbell's null
hypothesis [17].

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Subjects:O - Z > Partial differential equations
A - C > Biology and other natural sciences
O - Z > Ordinary differential equations
Research Groups:Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
Centre for Mathematical Biology
ID Code:1
Deposited By:Eprints Administrator
Deposited On:03 Mar 2004
Last Modified:25 Oct 2010 14:30

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