Annals of Botany

A generic individual-based model (IBM) tool to disentangle plant interactions in forage legumes

Louarn and Faverjon develop a generic model to account for the growth and development of herbaceous legume species with contrasting above- and below-ground architectures. The individual-based model (IBM) integrates plant responses to light, water and nitrogen and solves competition for multiple resources in a spatially explicit environment.

The IBM’s behaviour was assessed on a range of monospecific stands grown along three resource gradients. In addition to predicting the main density-dependent responses known about even-age plant populations, the IBM correctly anticipated plastic changes in the partitioning of dry matter, the N nutrition of legumes and the architecture of shoots and roots.

This paper is part of the Annals of Botany Special Issue on Functional-Structural Plant Growth Modelling. It will be free access until June 2018, then available only to subscribers until April 2019 when it will be free access again.