Author: O. Wildi 1
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  • 1 Swiss Federal Research Institute Zuercherstrasse 111, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland
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A set of coupled logistic growth equations is used to simulate the temporal replacement of vegetation (species or groups). Simulation results approximately reproduce two time series of 415 to 585 years obtained from field investigations in the Swiss National Park (SNP). Although the shape and the fit of the simulated curves are convincing, the assumption that all species must be present at the beginning of the simulation and also the absence of movement in space are not realistic. To overcome this, the model is extended to include space and is used for simulating the succession in an abandoned pasture of the SNP. As long as only vegetation change in all individual quadrats is simulated separately, vegetation boundaries remain unchanged over the simulated period of 400 years. When species are allowed to move between quadrats, the spatial pattern changes over the simulated time, and field data can be taken as boundary conditions to realistically simulate change. It is concluded that spatial dynamics must be taken into account to model long-term succession.

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