The inclusion of scaling theory into models of population dynamics.
Coomes, David *,1, 2, Allen, Robert2, 1 University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK2 Landcare Research, Christchurch, New Zealand
ABSTRACT- Few ecological theories link the properties of individual organisms with the functioning of communities and ecosystems, so the development of fractal-based scaling theories that report such links have been heralded with great interest. Scaling theory is preoccupied with the idea that plants have evolved to be hydraulically efficient and biomechanical secure, and that these evolutionary constraints determine many aspects of tree architecture and demography. On the other hand, many empirical studies have examined the plastic responses of trees to competition with neighbours and to disturbance, neither of which is adequately built into scaling theory. Here we combine the strengths of both approaches, by considering the ways in which scaling theory may be used to refine individual-based demographic models, and the ways in which the non-linear responses to resource supply may influence large-scale patterns. We draw on analyses of inventory data from New Zealand forests to illustrate of our points.
Key words: scaling, theory, forest, dynamics
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