Ecological disturbance maintains and promotes biodiversity in an artificial plant ecology

Ben Clark, Seth Bullock

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


A model of plant growth, competition and reproduction in three dimensions was constructed using L-systems to simulate plant growth, ray tracing to simulate sunlight and shading, and a steady-state genetic algorithm to simulate evolution by natural selection. Simulated plant growth conformed to expected trade-o s between, for instance, growing up and growing out. Simulated cohorts exhibited conventional population-level phenomena such as obeying the self-thinning law. Competition between species was simulated under various disturbance regimes. Undisturbed, a K-selected type of plant species dominated at equilibrium. However, under certain disturbance regimes, diverse life-history strategies were able to coexist at equilibrium, and even speciate
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Seventh International Conference on the Simulation of Adaptive Behavior (SAB 2002)
EditorsBridget Hallam, Dario Floreano, John Hallam, Gillian Hayes, Jean-Arcady Meyer
PublisherMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Press
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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