Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mathematical Sciences

First Advisor

David M. Chan

Second Advisor

Benjamin S. Ramage

Third Advisor

Craig E. Larson


In ecology literature, there is much data which suggests that conspecific negative density dependence (CNDD) and abiotic disturbances increase biodiversity in forests. This thesis elucidates the notion that not only do these two forces increase diversity, but they may also interact with one another in order to achieve higher levels of biodiversity. Abiotic disturbances, like fires and hurricanes, can indirectly impact conspecific effects because when these forces remove individuals from the landscape, the role of the conspecific effects will change. The interaction of these two factors in biodiversity are explored in an agent based forest simulation through a resource surface. Several different types of abiotic disturbances are simulated with either weak or strong CNDD effects in order to establish that different disturbances and conspecific effects cause certain levels of diversity. The underlying causes for the change in impact is also examined.


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