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  • Reconstructions of Arabica coffee plants cultivated under elevated (e[CO2], in A) and actual (a[CO2], in B)

    Structural and functional responses of coffee trees to elevated [CO2]

    Air [CO2] tends to increase due to climate changes, affecting plant growth. Field-grown Coffea arabica trees were grown under actual and elevated [CO2] for four years. Rakocevic et al. find that elevated [CO2] stimulated stomatal conductance and whole-plant photosynthesis, increasing water-use efficiency during the fourth dry period. Elevated [CO2] reduced leaf area and carbon investment in 2nd order branches, but also […] More

  • Examples of modelled plant architecture

    Biomass allocation between lamina and petioles in a game of light competition in a dense annual plant stand

    Plant architecture is important for light capture. In the field, plants compete with neighbours for light. In a competing system, game theory is needed to consider advantageous strategy (evolutionarily stable strategy; ESS). Yoshinaka et al. focus on a trade-off between lamina area and petiole length and analyse an evolutionarily stable petiole length in stands of […] More

  • Two-dimensional representation of an annual growth module (AGM), that forms from an indeterminate compound inflorescence over an annual growing period, comprising one mixed reproductive and vegetative growth flush (spring, dark brown) and two vegetative growth flushes (summer, brown, and autumn, light brown).

    A novel approach to verification and validation of functional–structural plant models

    Functional-structural plant modelling is an established approach to realistically represent plant growth, but testing and documenting realism beyond visual comparisons is challenging. We used elements of pattern-oriented modelling to test the realism of a new model of the annual growth module (AGM) of avocado (Persea americana, cv. Hass. Lauraceae). Wang et al. use seven patterns […] More

  • Allometry-based approach of the VPalm model

    Designing oil palm architectural ideotypes for optimized light interception

    Enhancement of light harvesting in annual crops has successfully led to yield increase and has been achieved by selecting plants with optimal canopy architecture for specific agronomic practices. In this simulation study, Perez et al. investigate potential improvements in light interception and carbon assimilation in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) under conventional agronomic conditions. A sensitivity […] More

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    Trait coordination and structural variation in Amborella trichopoda

    Finding that Amborella trichopoda is sister to the rest of the angiosperms has raised the question of whether it shares certain key functional trait characteristics and plastic responses apparently widespread within the angiosperms at large. With this in mind, Trueba et al. tested the hypothesis that local canopy openness induces plastic responses in Amborella in […] More

  • Leaf display by conifer and angiosperm seedlings

    Leaf display by conifer and angiosperm seedlings

    The contemporary relegation of conifers mainly to cold or infertile sites has been ascribed to low competitive ability. Lusk et al. use 3-D modelling of plant architecture and structural equation modelling to compare self-shading and light interception potential of seedlings of six conifers and 12 angiosperm trees from temperate rainforests, and show that seedlings of conifers […] More

  • Modelling as a tool for tomato ideotyping

    Modelling as a tool for tomato ideotyping

    Manipulation of plant structure can lead to substantial improvements in crop photosynthesis even when leaf area remains the same. Using L-system, Sarlikioti et al. produce a functional–structural model of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) to define an ideotype for optimization of light absorption and photosynthesis at the canopy level. By applying sensitivity analysis to a number of architectural […] More

  • Modelling crown and wood characteristics of Pinus

    Modelling crown and wood characteristics of Pinus

    Functional–structural tree models can be used not only for biomass and crown architecture modelling, but also for wood properties. Using L-system language, Fernández et al.  develop a model based on plant allometry and environmental signals so that a harmonic growth can be achieved, and by using monthly steps detailed three-dimensional information for crown and wood characteristics […] More

  • Partitioning model for fruit growth in cucumber

    Partitioning model for fruit growth in cucumber

    In cucumber (Cucumis sativus), imbalances in growth between individual fruits can be related to the partitioning of assimilates. Using L-Studio software, Wiechers et al.  develop a model combining architectural development, photosynthetic biochemistry and assimilate partitioning, with the latter including fruit growth. They find that simple partitioning models fail to simulate individual fruit growth realistically, but the […] More

  • Modelling lengths of cucumber internodes

    Modelling lengths of cucumber internodes

    Light has tremendous effects on crop architecture and its quantity and quality affect internode lengths in cucumber (Cucumis sativus). Kahlen and Stützel make simplifications to a light quantity- and quality-sensitive model for predicting final internode length and show that for vertically trained cucumber plants, leaf area data can be substituted successfully for local light quality […] More

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