2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

GIS-Driven Metapopulation Modeling: Using Graph Theory to Investigate Seed Dispersal
Jonathan D. Vollmer* and James D. Franklin
Dr. Michael Adams and Dr. Michael I. Kelrick, Faculty Mentors

Metapopulation models have become standard tools for biological conservation. These models require knowledge of both occupancy and flux of individuals among patches of suitable habitat. For animal species, estimation of these parameters is reasonably straightforward. However, for plants, it is impracticable to follow the fates of seeds and therefore difficult to build realistic metapopulation models. Even so, we are assembling a metapopulation model for the federally threatened, rare, winter annual plant species Missouri bladderpod (Lesquerella filiformis). Within-patch dynamics are modeled using conventional transition matrices that characterize inter-annual vital rates, for both seeds (in seed banks) and reproductive plants. Dispersal among patches is characterized indirectly, using graph theory to evaluate potential dispersal networks. Here, graph edges are differentially weighted, using a function generated from spatially explicit data of plant abundances and suites of habitat attributes in a GIS environment. Our approach represents a novel solution to modeling dispersal for plants.

Keywords: Metapopulation, Graph Theory, Seed Dispersal, GIS, Endangered Plant, Winter Annual, Life Cycle Diagram, Leslie Matrix

Topic(s):Mathematical Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 52-2
Location: VH 1428
Time: 3:00

Add to Custom Schedule

* Indicates the Student Presenter
   SRC Privacy Policy