A study of size structured competition models to understand tree species coexistence

Project ID: 1557

Cube proposed by: Annette Ostling

Unit: LSA: Natural Sciences

Cycle: MCubed 2.0

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About this project: 
A dominant hypothesis of tree species coexistence in forests is species differ in their successional niche, ranging from exploiting high light/resource conditions from recent disturbance to dominating later in succession when resources are in short supply. However, much work remains to fully understand the differences in demographic strategy that could mediate this successional niche differentiation, and the degree to which each is at play in nature. Models capturing the size-structured nature competition between trees, as well as heterogeneity in patch age since disturbance, are complex, and have faced barriers to complete analysis. In this project, we aim to overcome these barriers, advancing analytical and numerical approaches to these models. We aim to then secure external funding for a project using data from a large worldwide network of forest plots to quantify the role of successional niche differentiation in tree species coexistence in nature.