Safe sites, seed supply, and the recruitment function in plant populations

Richard Duncan, Jeffrey Diez, Jon Sullivan, Steven Wangen, Alice Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


The extent to which plant populations are seed vs. establishment limited can be understood by quantifying the recruitment function, describing the number of seedlings that establish as a function of the number of seeds added. Here, we derive a general equation for the recruitment function based on a mechanistic model describing how the availability of safe sites (sites suitable for germination and establishment) interacts with the number and distribution of seeds added to a plot to determine the number of recruits. The parameters of this recruitment function have a direct biological interpretation that can provide insight into the processes limiting recruitment in plant populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2129-2138
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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