Resource allocation and biomass distribution in individual plants and in plant communities

Scientific objective

To understand resource allocation and biomass distribution strategies in plants and in plant communities.

Approach

We investigate the relationship between the structure and function in plants resulting from interactions between genetic determinism and environmental regulatory processes. The novelty of our research is to explicitly consider 3D architectural development in models that simultaneously account for the effects of ontogeny and of environmental factors on the form and shape of the plant. We analyze and model interactions within plant communities and between plants and their environment, and take the three-dimensional structure of plants and their organs into account in order to obtain more accurate predictions of vegetation dynamics and functioning. At the landscape scale, we study the emergent properties of heterogeneous plant communities by combining dynamic models and remote sensing observations. A major objective of this work is to map characteristics of interest at a large scale, such as the aboveground biomass of tropical forests.

Expected results

We expect to capture the basic processes underlying the growth and development of plants. We also aim to predict the structure and dynamics of vegetation cover at different scales in space and over time under different environmental management scenarios and constraints. Together, this will advance our understanding of various aspects of crop production and carbon sequestration by plant communities.

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