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Stochastic modelling of tree architecture and biomass allocation: Application to teak (Tectona grandis L. f.), a tree species with polycyclic growth and leaf neoformation

Tondjo K., Brancheriau L., Sabatier S.A., Kokutse A.D., Kokou K., Jaeger M., De Reffye P., Fourcaud T.. 2018. Annals of Botany, 121 (7) : p. 1397-1410.

DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcy040

Background and aims For a given genotype, the observed variability of tree forms results from the stochasticity of meristem functioning and from changing and heterogeneous environmental factors affecting biomass formation and allocation. In response to climate change, trees adapt their architecture by adjusting growth processes such as pre- and neoformation, as well as polycyclic growth. This is the case for the teak tree. The aim of this work was to adapt the plant model, GreenLab, in order to take into consideration both these processes using existing data on this tree species. Methods This work adopted GreenLab formalism based on source¿sink relationships at organ level that drive biomass production and partitioning within the whole plant over time. The stochastic aspect of phytomer production can be modelled by a Bernoulli process. The teak model was designed, parameterized and analysed using the architectural data from 2- to 5-year-old teak trees in open field stands. Key results Growth and development parameters were identified, fitting the observed compound organic series with the theoretical series, using generalized least squares methods. Phytomer distributions of growth units and branching pattern varied depending on their axis category, i.e. their physiological age. These emerging properties were in accordance with the observed growth patterns and biomass allocation dynamics during a growing season marked by a short dry season. Conclusions Annual growth patterns observed on teak, including shoot pre- and neoformation and polycyclism, were reproduced by the new version of the GreenLab model. However, further updating is discussed in order to ensure better consideration of radial variation in basic specific gravity of wood. Such upgrading of the model will enable teak ideotypes to be defined for improving wood production in terms of both volume and quality.

Mots-clés : forêt; bioinformatique; morphologie végétale; tectona grandis

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