Skip to page navigation menu Skip entire header
Brown University
Skip 13 subheader links

Simulating Bet Hedging Strategies of Native and Exotic Annual Plants


Environmental instabilities call for organisms to develop various adaptation strategies in order to maintain long term survival. Bet hedging is one such strategy aiming at reducing risks of extinction under a rapidly changing environment, occurring when a population sacrifices its short term mean fitness in order to minimize variance in fitness in the long run. For example, some annual plant bet hedgers may leave a portion of new seeds dormant each year, so that those dormant seeds can still germinate after a drought wipes out all adult population. Native annual plants need to adapt to the varying climate as well as face competition from invasive species; insight into the extent to which both native and invasive annual plants hedge their bets through delayed seed germination can contribute to a better understanding of the preservation of native species in the face of climate change. However, due to variation in collection methods as well as non-exhaustive coverage on plant species, seed germination as well as fitness data are hard to estimate on a consistent scale; in order to address this gap, we use stochastic modeling to estimate the optimal bet hedging behavior–that is, seed germination rate–of typical native and invasive annual plants. The results show differentiating patterns in optimal seed germination rates of native and invasive annual plants, which may shed light on the relationship between climate change and the local topology of biodiversity as well as policy making in regards to native species preservation.

Access Conditions

Use and Reproduction
All rights reserved
In Copyright
Restrictions on Use
All Rights Reserved


Yin, Neal, "Simulating Bet Hedging Strategies of Native and Exotic Annual Plants" (2022). Summer Research Symposium. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.



  • Summer Research Symposium

    Each year, Brown University showcases the research of its undergraduates at the Summer Research Symposium. More than half of the student-researchers are UTRA recipients, while others receive funding from a variety of Brown-administered and national programs and fellowships and go …