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Journal Articles Journal of the Royal Society Interface Year : 2018

Tree crowns grow into self-similar shapes controlled by gravity and light sensing

Abstract

Plants have developed different tropisms: in particular, they reorient the growth of their branches towards the light (phototropism) or upwards (gravitropism). How these tropisms affect the shape of a tree crown remains unanswered. We address this question by developing a propagating front model of tree growth. Being length-free, this model leads to self-similar solutions after a long period of time, which are independent of the initial conditions. Varying the intensities of each tropism, different self-similar shapes emerge, including singular ones. Interestingly, these shapes bear similarities to existing tree species. It is concluded that the core of specific crown shapes in trees relies on the balance between tropisms.
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Dates and versions

hal-01829241 , version 1 (03-07-2018)

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Laurent Duchemin, Christophe Eloy, Eric Badel, Bruno Moulia. Tree crowns grow into self-similar shapes controlled by gravity and light sensing. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 2018, 15 (142), 10 p. ⟨10.1098/rsif.2017.0976⟩. ⟨hal-01829241⟩
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