Ensemble Behavior from Individual Dynamics in Multispecies Forest Populations (Senior Thesis)

This is my senior thesis, performed in the Princeton Physics Department, 2007, as part of my Bachelor's.  


Abstract: In this paper we present the derivation of macroscopic equations governing forest populations and use these to explore and understand interspecies interactions. Traditionally, complex numerical models have been used to to predict the behavior of forest populations from the behavior of individual trees. We explore the possible consequences of interspecies interaction, including an analysis of several mechanisms for coexistence of different species. Using the macroscopic equations we also reproduce the process of ecological succession and demonstrate how it can enable coexistence of different species whenever these species differ by a minimum distance in trait-space.