In this work the spatiotemporal dynamics of tropical rainforest canopy gaps are modelled using the computer intensive technique of cellular automata. A canopy gap is defined to be an area where the canopy height is below a threshold. The focus of this work is on developing and testing two new models, called the Recursive Transition Expansion Model and the Local Transition Expansion Model, of which the former model is capable of reproducing the annual canopy gap dynamics that are observed on the Barro Colorado Island in Panama and reported in the literature. These new models are extensions of a previously used model of canopy dynamics called the Kubo Iwasa Furumoto model. It is also shown, by calculating the phase diagram, that a different previously used model, called the Forest Game model, is not capable of reproducing the observed gap pattern on the Barro Colorado Island. Some limitations on an analytical approximation technique used for the Kubo Iwasa Furumoto model, called the pair approximation, are given. It is also discovered that the size distributions of gap formation and closure events in the Barro Colorado Island forest are power laws.In this work the spatiotemporal dynamics of tropical rainforest canopy gaps are modelled using the computer intensive technique of cellular automata. A canopy gap is defined to be an area where the canopy height is below a threshold.

Title | : | Modelling the Spatiotemporal Dynamics of a Tropical Rainforest Canopy |

Author | : | Christopher Pagnutti |

Publisher | : | ProQuest - 2007 |

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