« Theeb | Main | Camels don't fly, deserts don't bloom »

April 20, 2016

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

“The circles compete with one another and space themselves apart from the circles around them . . . They almost function like an organism,” says a plant physiologist in that good BBC piece.

And an organism they function like, it appears, is King Clone: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Clone

"Creosote bush stands tend to display an evenly spaced distribution of plants. Originally, it was assumed that the plant produced a water-soluble inhibitor that prevented the growth of other bushes near mature, healthy bushes. Now, however, it has been shown that the root systems of mature creosote plants are simply so efficient at absorbing water that fallen seeds nearby cannot accumulate enough water to germinate, effectively creating dead zones around every plant. It also seems that all plants within a stand grow at approximately the same rate, and that the creosote bush is a very long-living plant." (Wikipedia, citing Phillips, Donald L.; MacMahon, James A. "Competition and spacing patterns in desert shrubs". Journal of Ecology 1981)
Someone needs to measure the distribution of the American version in Creosote Rings Preserve. The outstanding mystery, however, is how it occurred to Sinclair and Zhang to compare these two data sets. Perhaps Mathematical Biology keeps a list of packing problems? Varying with time and fitness of multicellular automata? Lovely questions, thanks very much.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Blog about copy
Share |
Cover 2

UCP

OUP

StatCounter