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Palm trees provide a unique opportunity to study what conditions optimize the probability that a seed will grow successfully. The seeds of palm trees, endocarps, are large and easy to locate. When they don't grow, predators leave marks on them that tell the story of their fate. The focus of my experiment is to determine how the current distribution pattern of parent palm trees in Panama Palm trees affects the the future distribution of seedlings. I have programmed a versatile model that takes the assumption that bruchid beetles are the sole predators acting on the seeds, and that these fall from the trees in an inverse logarithmic density pattern. The beetles are programmed to move to a random seed within an arbitrary distance of their start point. If no seeds are near enough to them, then they starve. I hypothesize that the beetles will decrease clumping within five generations.
modeling, post-dispersal, seed, predation, tree, population
Tirrell, Justin, "Modeling the Effect of Post-Dispersal Seed Predation on Tropical Tree Species in Panama" (2018). Fall Student Research Symposium 2018. 11.