2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

A Novel Approach to Modeling Seed Dispersal for the Rare Winter Annual Plant Missouri Bladderpod
Charles B. Tomlinson
Dr. Michael I. Kelrick and Dr. Michael Adams , Faculty Mentors

Missouri bladderpod (Lesquerella filiformis) is a federally listed plant species, endemic to southern Missouri glades. A key feature of the species population ecology is seed dispersal, thought to be associated with sheetwash events. Working within an existing metapopulation dynamics model, a method of describing dispersal was devised, incorporating neighboring subpopulations abundances and six habitat attributes. The habitat attributes influence water flow and thus seed movement. A linear function of the percentage cover of each habitat attribute describes seed emigration from each subpopulation. The best suite of parameter values was defined as that set with the highest correlation between the strength of seed immigration predicted for each subpopulation and the observed change subpopulation size. Dispersal in the model was implemented in a novel way, clustering barren patches to represent dispersal corridors between habitable patches. The model produces ecologically reasonable population dynamical behavior: irregular boom and bust cycles and transient patch occupancy.

Keywords: MathBio, Math, Biology, Ecology, Modeling, Dispersal, Metapopulation

Topic(s):Mathematical Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 1-1
Location: MG 1098
Time: 8:00

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