Modelling performances of oil palm plantation by the identification of architectural and functional traits

Duration : 2017 - 2020
Research program : Privé
Geographic extension : International
Oil palm

The potential yield of oil palm plantation in relation with climate conditions can be expressed in terms of light interception efficiency (depending on palms architecture and planting pattern), light use efficiency (photosynthesis), water use efficiency (modulated by stomatal regulation) and harvest index (fraction of carbohydrates invested into bunches). This project intends to cover these different points by using original tools developed by Cirad: 

  • Analysing/Modelling the architecture of different palm progenies and simulation of virtual palms
  • Calculation of their light interception in regular or alternative density patterns
  • Analysing/Modelling their photosynthesis rate in relation to incident radiation, temperature, air humidity and soil water availability
  • Analysing/Modelling the assimilate allocation in plant, between shoot and root and between vegetative and reproductive sinks, in relation with supply/demand ratio
  • Analysing/Modelling the effect of water deficit on palm development, growth and morphogenesis
  • Integrating the above mentioned information into an integrated functional-structural model

For, in fine:

  • Identifying architectural and functional traits for potential  yield plateau  achievement and better adaptation to climate constraints
  • Defining ideotypes for specific climate conditions and management practices and providing combination of traits of interest for breeding plans
  • Assessing the best growing conditions for given progenies and their proper management (e.g. planting density)
  • Predicting bunches and oil production along seasons
  • Evaluating innovative practices and managements (e.g. high density planting patterns with frond pruning)


  • UMR BioWooEB


  • Perez, R. P.-A., Costes, E., Théveny, F., Griffon, S., Caliman, J. P., Dauzat, J., 2018. 3D plant model assessed by terrestrial LIDAR and hemispherical photographs: a useful tool for comparing light interception among oil palm progenies. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 249 : 250-263.
  • Perez, R. P.-A., Dauzat, J., Pallas, B., Lamour, J., Verley, P., Caliman, J. P., Costes, E., Faivre, R., 2018. Designing oil palm architectural ideotypes for optimal light interception and carbon assimilation through a sensitivity analysis of leaf traits. Annals of Botany, 121: 909–926.
  • Perez, R. P.-A., Pallas, B., Le Moguedec, G., Rey, H., Griffon, S., Caliman, J. P., Costes, E., Dauzat, J., 2016. Integrating mixed models into an architectural plant model to simulate inter and intra progeny variability: a case study on oil palm. Journal of Experimental Botany, 67 (15): 4507-4521.