Environmental Science and Engineering Seminar
Simple predictions of forest structure from resource limitations and fractal geometry
One of the main objectives in ecology and the Earth sciences is to uncover the smallest set of parameters that predict the dominant behavior of a biological system. For vascular plants it has been observed that scaling laws (also known as power laws) govern trends in many organism traits based primarily on organism size. I have developed a theory that synthesizes scaling laws, the morphology of trees, and resource limitations to predict the biogeography of maximum tree height from only a few parameters. In this talk I will show how the characteristic of maximum tree height determines forest structure along with a wide variety of other fundamental forest features. Furthermore, I will demonstrate how this theory generates simple predictions for the response of biomass and net primary productivity to shifts in environmental conditions, including precipitation and temperature. Finally, I will illustrate how this approach and these principles can be applied to other ecologies, in particular, microbial biofilm communities.
Contact: Kathy Young at 626-395-8732 firstname.lastname@example.org