J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2008, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (3): 280-290.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2007.00618.x

Special Issue: Ecology and Global Changes

• Bioenergy Plants • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Relationship between the Virtual Dynamic Thinning Line and the Self-Thinning Boundary Line in Simulated Plant Populations

Kang Chen, Hong-Mei Kang, Juan Bai, Xiang-Wen Fang and Gang Wang   

Abstract: The self-thinning rule defines a straight upper boundary line on log-log scales for all possible combinations of mean individual biomass and density in plant populations. Recently, the traditional slope of the upper boundary line, −3/2, has been challenged by −4/3 which is deduced from some new mechanical theories, like the metabolic theory. More experimental or field studies should be carried out to identify the more accurate self-thinning exponent. But it's hard to obtain the accurate self-thinning exponent by fitting to data points directly because of the intrinsic problem of subjectivity in data selection. The virtual dynamic thinning line is derived from the competition-density (C-D) effect as the initial density tends to be positive infinity, avoiding the data selection process. The purpose of this study was to study the relationship between the virtual dynamic thinning line and the upper boundary line in simulated plant stands. Our research showed that the upper boundary line and the virtual dynamic thinning line were both straight lines on log-log scales. The slopes were almost the same value with only a very little difference of 0.059, and the intercept of the upper boundary line was a little larger than that of the virtual dynamic thinning line. As initial size and spatial distribution patterns became more uniform, the virtual dynamic thinning line was more similar to the upper boundary line. This implies that, given appropriate parameters, the virtual dynamic thinning line may be used as the upper boundary line in simulated plant stands.

Key words: area of suppression, competition-density effect, individual-based models, self-thinning, virtual dynamic thinning line.

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