Many individual-based models of forest dynamics lack spatial complexity. Although, in certain cases, spatially simple models may not be substantially inferior to spatially complex models, advances in vegetation science indicate potential weaknesses, particularly the lack of consideration of propagule availability in horizontal space, and varying patch (or canopy gap) dimensions. Models with vertical and horizontal spatial complexity can address these issues, but, thus far, evidence that they outperform patch (or gap) models is limited. Comparison of projections from models that differ only in their spatial complexity is needed to address the effects of propagule availability in space, spatial pattern of canopy tree mortality, and spatial resolution.
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Vol. 15 • No. 6