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How it works
How plant biomass is distributed among plant parts
PlantStudio simulates plants as modular systems, each made up of a number of
plant parts. Some plant parts (meristems) create other plant parts, and the
different types of plant parts relate to each other in ways that create the
appearance of the plant. How the plant grows is determined by the constellation of
plant parts it has and how each type of plant part grows.
When the plant starts to grow, its collection of plant parts consists of only
one apical meristem with zero biomass. As the plant grows, its meristems create
more and more plant parts. Eventually the plant has a whole assemblage of
internodes, leaves, meristems, inflorescences, flowers, and fruits. These plant
parts compete for the energy and nutrients implicit in new growth.
On each day of growth, the plant first asks each one of its vegetative parts
(internodes, leaves, vegetative meristems) how much biomass it would like for
growth. Then the plant partitions the new growth according to the demands of the
plant parts. The same thing goes on for the reproductive plant parts
(inflorescences, flowers, fruits, reproductive meristems). No weighting scheme is used,
but timing parameters produce a difference in the demands newer and older plant
The demands plant parts make can be summarized:
Meristems in a vegetative state demand biomass to create internodes and leaves.
Internodes and leaves demand biomass to try to grow to optimal size.
Meristems in a reproductive state demand biomass to create inflorescences.
Inflorescences demand biomass to grow to optimal size, but don't demand biomass to make flowers -- they create flower buds based simply on a schedule of days.
Flower buds demand biomass to grow to optimal size.
Flowers demand biomass to create (set) a fruit.
Fruits demand biomass to grow to optimal size.
Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.