Math Biology Seminar Abstracts

Wednesday October , 2003

The Janzen-Connell Hypothesis: The role of space in maintaining diversity

Fred Adler

Department of Mathematics, University of Utah

Abstract:The Janzen-Connell hypothesis states that specialist seed or seedling predators enhance diversity by favoring rare species. Some ecologists have argued that this effect is strengthened when these predators remain near the parent tree, because they create a zone of death which opens up space for other species. Using a spatially explicit simulation model and an analytical approximations, I show that in fact natural enemies facilitate coexistence of more species when they do not remain near the parent. I conclude by speculating upon the power of these methods to address fundamental problems in evolutionary ecology.

For more information contact J. Keener, 1-6089