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Abstract Detail

Physiological Section

Echt-Wilson , Eli Joshua [1], Zuo, Albert [2], Hammond, Sean [3], Hanson, David [4], DeWitte, Jason [5].

A Detailed Computational Model of Tree Growth.

As computational power has increased, forest models that first appeared in the 1970s have shifted from community-based statistical models to individual tree-based models. Recent work in modeling individual trees uses allometric or empirically observed growth patterns for biological applications, or has focused on producing visually appealing trees for use in movies and games. Here we present an unique model that simulates deciduous tree growth at the level of individual branches based on underlying biological processes. In our model, a tree is represented as a collection of finite-length support segments which ultimately support leaf elements to harvest light and generate biomass. Light availability at each point in the canopy is calculated by propagating light through a voxel grid (3D index of space). The biomass is used for, in order, root growth, leaf replacement, segment growth in width, and growing new segments and leaves. Stresses on each segment are computed based on forces due to gravity and wind, and growth in width is proportional to the stresses each segment experiences. Branching is proportional to light availability at the branching site. Where possible, biological parameters are taken from naturally observed values and previous research. Extensive recursive algorithms and a voxel grid are used to achieve efficient simulation and 3D visualization. In addition to exhibiting carbon allocation patterns similar to real-world trees, when exposed to varying light levels and wind speeds, model trees exhibit emergent phototropism and anemotropism. The model and software has potential applications in forest management including the maximization of carbon sequestration and timber production.

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1 - 11800 San Rafael Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87122, USA
2 - 11701 San Antonio Dr NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87122, United States
3 - University Of New Mexico, Biology, MSC03 2020, Albuquerque, NY, 87121-0001, USA
4 - University of New Mexico, Biology, msc03 2020, Albuquerque, NM, 87131-0001, USA
5 - La Cueva High School, Science, 7801 Wilshire Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87122, USA

tree growth
computational modeling.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 42
Location: Pines South/Boise Centre
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Time: 4:15 PM
Number: 42011
Abstract ID:514
Candidate for Awards:Physiological Section Physiological Section Li-COR Prize

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