Mechanistic models of seed dispersal by wind

Mechanistic models of seed dispersal by wind Over the past century, various mechanistic models have been developed to estimate the magnitude of seed dispersal by wind, and to elucidate the relative importance of physical and biological factors affecting this passive transport process. The conceptual development has progressed from ballistic models, through models incorporating vertically variable mean horizontal windspeed and turbulent excursions, to models accounting for discrepancies between airflow and seed motion. Over hourly timescales, accounting for turbulent fluctuations in the vertical velocity component generally leads to a power-law dispersal kernel that is censored by an exponential cutoff far from the seed source. The parameters of this kernel vary with the flow field inside the canopy and the seed terminal velocity. Over the timescale of a dispersal season, with mean wind statistics derived from an “extreme-value” distribution, these distribution-tail effects are compounded by turbulent diffusion to yield seed dispersal distances that are two to three orders of magnitude longer than the corresponding ballistic models. These findings from analytic models engendered explicit simulations of the effects of turbulence on seed dispersal using computationally intensive fluid dynamics tools. This development marks a bifurcation in the approaches to wind dispersal, seeking either finer resolution of the dispersal mechanism at the scale of a single dispersal event, or mechanistically derived analytical dispersal kernels needed to resolve long-term and large-scale processes such as meta-population dynamics and range expansion. Because seed dispersal by wind is molded by processes operating over multiple scales, new insights will require novel theoretical tactics that blend these two approaches while preserving the key interactions across scales. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Theoretical Ecology Springer Journals

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Life Sciences; Plant Sciences ; Zoology ; Theoretical Ecology/Statistics
ISSN
1874-1738
eISSN
1874-1746
DOI
10.1007/s12080-011-0115-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Over the past century, various mechanistic models have been developed to estimate the magnitude of seed dispersal by wind, and to elucidate the relative importance of physical and biological factors affecting this passive transport process. The conceptual development has progressed from ballistic models, through models incorporating vertically variable mean horizontal windspeed and turbulent excursions, to models accounting for discrepancies between airflow and seed motion. Over hourly timescales, accounting for turbulent fluctuations in the vertical velocity component generally leads to a power-law dispersal kernel that is censored by an exponential cutoff far from the seed source. The parameters of this kernel vary with the flow field inside the canopy and the seed terminal velocity. Over the timescale of a dispersal season, with mean wind statistics derived from an “extreme-value” distribution, these distribution-tail effects are compounded by turbulent diffusion to yield seed dispersal distances that are two to three orders of magnitude longer than the corresponding ballistic models. These findings from analytic models engendered explicit simulations of the effects of turbulence on seed dispersal using computationally intensive fluid dynamics tools. This development marks a bifurcation in the approaches to wind dispersal, seeking either finer resolution of the dispersal mechanism at the scale of a single dispersal event, or mechanistically derived analytical dispersal kernels needed to resolve long-term and large-scale processes such as meta-population dynamics and range expansion. Because seed dispersal by wind is molded by processes operating over multiple scales, new insights will require novel theoretical tactics that blend these two approaches while preserving the key interactions across scales.

Journal

Theoretical EcologySpringer Journals

Published: Feb 16, 2011

References

  • Survival of maize (Zea mays) pollen exposed in the atmosphere
    Aylor, DE
  • Effects of long-distance dispersal for metapopulation survival and genetic structure at ecological time and spatial scales
    Bohrer, G; Nathan, R; Volis, S
  • A Virtual Canopy Generator (V-CaGe) for modeling complex heterogeneous forest canopies at high resolution
    Bohrer, G; Wolosin, M; Brady, R; Avissar, R
  • Exploring the effects of microscale structural heterogeneity of forest canopies using large-eddy simulations
    Bohrer, G; Katul, GG; Walko, RL; Avissar, R
  • Determining the viability response of pine pollen to atmospheric conditions during long-distance dispersal
    Bohrerova, Z; Bohrer, G; Cho, KD; Bolch, MA; Linden, KG

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