ARCHI - Plant architecture and functioning


Understanding the "structure-function-time-environment" relationships that govern the three-dimensional development of individual plants along ontogeny, according to the architectural approach initiated in the 1970s by F. Hallé et R. Oldeman (Hallé et al. 1978 - Tropical Trees and Forests - An Architectural Analysis. Springer).

In order to understand the functioning, evolution and adaptation of plants, we develop research on : (i) the links between architectural attributes and functions ("functional traits") related to exploration (occupation of space), assimilation (photosynthesis, root absorption), transport (flow, cavitation), reserves (role of parenchyma, water storage), support (mechanical support and postural control), defence (heartwood formation, morpho-anatomical adaptations), and survival strategies via vegetative and/or sexual reproduction ; (ii) the functional role of anatomy in the broad sense (pith, wood, bark, leaves...); (iii) the evolution of plant architecture, from fossil plants to phylogenies based on contemporary species and their biogeography (heterochrony, radiation, architectural convergences and divergences).
This work is based on : the study of growth forms (trees, shrubs, bushes, epiphytes, lianas); the morpho-anatomical analysis of the fundamental organisation of the plant (architecture, regularities, similarities) and the functioning of the shoots (stem-petiole-limb interface) and the tree crown; the relationships between primary and secondary growth, between stem and root development; the study of the multifunctional role of wood (mechanical support and hydraulic conduction), the determinants and the role of the epicormic branches (repair mechanisms).
Plants are also studied in their environment through the relationships between architecture, functional traits and biotic factors; interactions between individuals within the stand and communities (competition for resources, forest succession).
This work has applied spin-offs for the selection of species or varieties in agronomy and forestry; the development of diagnostic tools for tree management in cities, monitoring forest health; the definition of sampling protocols for the structure of large forest canopies, the determination of ontogenetic stages (architectural stages), or the measurement of functional traits in community ecology.

Several of our projects are conducted in French Guiana (partly supported by LabEx Ceba, and in New Caledonia, partly supported by IRD infrastructure and the Herbarium of New Caledonia).

Acronym Title Durarion
COCOA4FUTURECocoa4Future : Sustainability of production systems and new dynamics in the cocoa sector
Project PI: Patrick JAGORET (CIRAD)  
2020 - 2024
Cormier-3RConvergence Cormier: Réseau, Ressources et Résilience d'un arbre oublié au service de la transition agro-écologique
Project PI: Marilyne LAURANS 
2022 - 2022

DE HALDAT DU LYS Alexandre 2021 - 2024. Interactions racines/tiges chez les arbres dans un contexte de changement climatique. Applications pour la production en pépinière des arbres d’ornement.. Ecole doctorale : GAIA / Université de Montpellier. Dir : NICOLINI Eric

HATTERMANN Tom 2019 - 2023. Les plantes sécrétrices d'exsudats en Guyane française / une analyse de leur importance, de leurs rôles fonctionnels et leurs potentiels biomimétiques en robotique douce. Ecole doctorale : GAIA / Université de Montpellier. Dir : ROWE Nicholas

SALMON Camille 2019 - 2023. la signification adaptative de la monocarpie chez le genre Cerberiopsis en Nouvelle-Calédonie. Ecole doctorale : GAIA / Université de Montpellier. Dir : HEURET Patrick

  • UMR DIADE, IRD Montpellier : Jérôme Duminil et Romain Guyot ;
  • Ecole centralesupelec, Université de Paris Saclay : Véronique Lechevalier ;
  • UMR Ecofog : Sabrina Coste (UG), Clément Stahl (INRA
  • Université d’Ulm (Allemagne) : Steven Jansen
  • ISEM Montpellier : Benoît Brossier (CNRS)
  • UR Forêt et Sociétés (Cirad): Charles Doumenge, Loic Dutrieux, Valéry Gond
  • Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI): Jacqueline Uku