David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Acta Biotheoretica 39 (3-4) (1991)
The paper describes the conceptual models used to understand the processes determining plant growth rates in response to environmental changes. A series of experiments and growth models were used at three organizational levels: the specific plant organs, the whole plant and the plant canopy. The energy conversion efficiency and the total plant carbon balance were first examined. The carbon partitioning amongst the plant parts was then studied. The energy conversion efficiency is generally understood. In modelling carbon partitioning it was first necessary to establish the carbon demand for each plant organ. The carbon partitioned amongst plant organs was then calculated in two ways. The first one based on empirical data consisted in defining which organ received the carbon prior to other organs. The second one was based on the relationship between the carbon mass of specific organs and their trophic activity. This hypothesis allowed the optimization of the carbon partitioning in order to maximize the whole plant growth rate. The opportunities to use these theoretical approaches in plant growth modelling are discussed.
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