In conjunction with the interdisciplinary activities of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), a seminar series on topics in mathematical biology will be hosted at NIMBioS every other Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) in the Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd. Seminar speakers will focus on their research initiatives at the interface of mathematics and many areas of the life sciences. Light refreshments will be served in Room 205 beginning 30 minutes before each talk. Faculty and students from across the UT community are welcome to join us.
Time/Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2015, 3:30 p.m.*
Location: Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Dr. Caroline Farrior, NIMBioS postdoctoral fellow
Topic: Plant traits and the importance of competition among individuals
Abstract: Plant communities are complex systems. The success of an individual depends not only on that individual's strategy and its match to the environment, but also on the strategies of other individuals within the community. One of the most noticeable structures in forests, wood, is a great example of this. Wood itself is not a productive tissue, but aids plants in competition with one another for light. So, in order to understand and predict changes in allocation to wood, we must scale from the environment and plant physiology, through individual-level competition, and up to population dynamics and finally landscape-level properties. I will present a model that makes these scale transitions for plants in competition for light, water, and nutrients, and use it to explain empirical phenomena including (1) dominant tradeoffs in allocation patterns in forests and (2) complex plant responses to simple resource addition experiments. In addition, I will introduce plans for expanding this framework to incorporate the pressure of rare disturbances as a potential driver of coexistence of important plant traits.
*Join us for refreshments at 3 p.m. in Room 205.
Seminar Flyer (pdf)
For more information about this and other NIMBioS Seminars, visit http://www.nimbios.org/seminars.