Wednesday October , 2003
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.
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