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How competition for light and wind resistance shape tree forms

Presented by: 
Christophe Eloy École centrale de Marseille, Institut de Recherche sur les Phénomènes Hors Equilibre
Date: 
Thursday 12th October 2017 - 15:00 to 16:30
Venue: 
INI Seminar Room 2
Abstract: 
Trees are self-similar branching structures, hierarchically organized with longer and thicker branches near the roots. With a mechanically-based numerical model, we show how self-similarity can emerge through natural selection. In this model, trees grow into fractal structures to promote efficient photosynthesis in a competing environment. In addition, branch diameters increase in response to wind-induced loads. Remarkably, the virtual tree species emerging from this model have the same self-similar properties as those measured on conifers and angiosperms.



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University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons