Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Biological Sciences

Content Description

1 online resource (viii, 71 pages) : PDF file, illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Thomas Caraco

Committee Members

Jonathan Newman, Gyorgy Korniss, George Robinson, Ing-Nang Wang


adaptive dynamics, individual based model, interference competition, invasive species, preemptive competition, spatial competition, Plant competition, Invasive plants, Introduced organisms, Ecological disturbances

Subject Categories

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Although the term invasion conjures images of invasive species, the dynamics of rarity is fundamental to many ecological processes. The community-level effects of invasion are determined by interactions between individuals in the system. Competition is most intense between neighboring individuals, which may generate spatial organization that can affect the outcome and time scale of an invasion. In this dissertation, I use analytic and simulation models of invasion to study preemptive competition between a rare invading type, and a resident that already occupies the system. In Chapter 1, I give motivation for these studies, and then introduce a spatially structured, individual-based competition model that is used throughout this document.