sAFON theme - Functional Architecture



Plant architecture modeling involves sampling individuals in a given context and inferring growth, branching and mortality laws to simulate populations of individuals for the site under study. The GreenLab approach assumes that architectural achievements result from a balance between carbon sources and sinks (i.e. between the production of assimilates by leaves and their consumption by vegetative and fruiting bodies), the sources being set by means of a climate efficiency parameter. In contrast, “Functional Architecture” focuses on 1) the explicit modelling of biophysical processes (light, photosynthesis, energy balance...) and 2) the modelling of the plasticity of growth processes to ultimately estimate agronomic and silvicultural production based on climatic, edaphic and cultural data. The scope of the theme concerns primarily perennial plants of major economic interest (oil palm, coffee and, in the long term, cocoa, rubber, eucalyptus...) without excluding annual crops (rice, sorghum, cotton...) and agroforestry systems combining trees and grasses.


  •  Fundamental: functional evaluation of architectural features; limitation of growth by sources and/or sinks; role of phenotypic plasticity in the adaptation of plants to their environment;
  •  Applied: optimization of production systems (e.g. agroforestry and agrivoltaics systems, high-density plantations); evaluation of morphotypes and definition of ideotypes; adaptation of plants to global changes;
  •  Methodological: heuristic modelling of the architectural construction of temperate and tropical trees in stands.


  •  Model and simulate carbon assimilation and transpiration of plants according to climatic conditions and water availability;
  •  Measure, analyze and interpret the plasticity of architectural features under climatic and edaphic constraints;
  •  Quantify the physiological acclimatization of plants to environmental conditions (e.g. in response to increased CO2 levels);
  •  Evaluate variety or cultivar morphotypes and look for ideotypes adapted to particular conditions;
  •  Optimize cropping systems and cultivation practices;
  •  Model and simulate the growth and occupation of space by competing trees.

Main funded projects

Acronym Title Duration
PALMSTUDIOModelling performances of oil palm plantation by the identification of architectural and functional traits2017 - 2020
AVSTUDIOModélisation et asservissement d'un système agrivoltaïque à panneaux mobiles2014 - 2016
STEM-LEAFSTudies based on Experimental and Modelled wavefor for the LEAF (Lidar for Earth And Forests) mission2013 - 2016

Thèses soutenues

  •  Pérez, R. 2017. Analyzing and modelling the genetic variability of aerial architecture and light interception of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis jacq.). Thèse ED Gaia, Uni. Montpellier. 160 pp. (Co-dir E. Coste & J. Dauzat, allocation CIRAD). Devenir : Chercheur permanent au CIRAD.
  •  Pérez-Molina, J. P. 2018. Impact of drought on coffee: integrating physiological and morphological processes from the lead to the whole-plant scale. Thèse Univ. Federal de Viçosa, Brésil. (Co-dir F DaMatta, J. Dauzat & O. Roupsard, allocation CIRAD). Enseignant à l’Université Nationale du Costa Rica.
Main scientific production 2019-2020
Publications HAL de la collection AMAP


Journal articles

Rémi Vezy, Guerric Le Maire, Mathias Christina, Selena Georgiou, Pablo Imbach, et al.. DynACof: A process-based model to study growth, yield and ecosystem services of coffee agroforestry systems. Environmental Modelling & Software, 2020, 124, pp.104609. ⟨10.1016/j.envsoft.2019.104609⟩. ⟨hal-02488996⟩
Accès au bibtex


Journal articles

Toby Jackson, Alexander Shenkin, Axel Wellpott, Kim Calders, Niall Origo, et al.. Finite element analysis of trees in the wind based on terrestrial laser scanning data. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Elsevier Masson, 2019, 265, pp.137-144. ⟨10.1016/j.agrformet.2018.11.014⟩. ⟨hal-02089532⟩
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