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Parametric identification of a functional-structural tree growth model and application to beech trees (Fagus sylvatica)

Letort V., Cournède P.H., Mathieu A., De Reffye P., Constant T.. 2008. Functional Plant Biology, 35 : p. 951-963. International Workshop on Functional-Structural Plant Models. 5, 2007-11-04/2007-11-09, Napier (Nouvelle-Zélande).

Functional-structural models provide detailed representations of tree growth and their application to forestry seems full of prospects. However, owing to the complexity of tree architecture, parametric identification of such models remains a critical issue. We present the GreenLab approach for modelling tree growth. It simulates tree growth plasticity in response to changes of their internal level of trophic competition, especially topological development and cambial growth. The model includes a simplified representation of tree architecture, based on a species-specific description of branching patterns. We study whether those simplifications allow enough flexibility to reproduce with the same set of parameters the growth of two observed understorey beech trees (Fagus sylvatica L.) of different ages in different environmental conditions. The parametric identification of the model is global, i.e. all parameters are estimated simultaneously, potentially providing a better description of interactions between sub-processes. As a result, the source-sink dynamics throughout tree development is retrieved. Simulated and measured trees were compared for their trunk profiles (fresh masses and dimensions of every growth units, ring diameters at different heights) and compartment masses of their order 2 branches. Possible improvements of this method by including topological criteria are discussed. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : anatomie végétale; croissance; modèle mathématique; modèle de simulation; fagus sylvatica; lorraine; architecture des arbres

Thématique : Méthodes mathématiques et statistiques; Physiologie végétale : croissance et développement; Anatomie et morphologie des plantes; Production forestière

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