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Branch Thinning and the Large-Scale, Self-Similar Structure of Trees
Umeå universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för matematik och matematisk statistik. School of Education, Culture and Communication, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden.ORCID-id: 0000-0001-6140-180X
Umeå universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för matematik och matematisk statistik. School of Education, Culture and Communication, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden.
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2018 (Engelska)Ingår i: American Naturalist, ISSN 0003-0147, E-ISSN 1537-5323, Vol. 192, nr 1, s. E37-E47Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Branch formation in trees has an inherent tendency toward exponential growth, but exponential growth in the number of branches cannot continue indefinitely. It has been suggested that trees balance this tendency toward expansion by also losing branches grown in previous growth cycles. Here, we present a model for branch formation and branch loss during ontogeny that builds on the phenomenological assumption of a branch carrying capacity. The model allows us to derive approximate analytical expressions for the number of tips on a branch, the distribution of growth modules within a branch, and the rate and size distribution of tree wood litter produced. Although limited availability of data makes empirical corroboration challenging, we show that our model can fit field observations of red maple (Acer rubrum) and note that the age distribution of discarded branches predicted by our model is qualitatively similar to an empirically observed distribution of dead and abscised branches of balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera). By showing how a simple phenomenological assumptionthat the number of branches a tree can maintain is limitedleads directly to predictions on branching structure and the rate and size distribution of branch loss, these results potentially enable more explicit modeling of woody tissues in ecosystems worldwide, with implications for the buildup of flammable fuel, nutrient cycling, and understanding of plant growth.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
University of Chicago Press, 2018. Vol. 192, nr 1, s. E37-E47
Nyckelord [en]
branching structure, self-similarity, tree architecture, wood litter
Nationell ämneskategori
Ekologi Utvecklingsbiologi
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-150763DOI: 10.1086/697429ISI: 000435128300004PubMedID: 29897799OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-150763DiVA, id: diva2:1242650
Tillgänglig från: 2018-08-28 Skapad: 2018-08-28 Senast uppdaterad: 2019-12-12Bibliografiskt granskad

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Hellström, LarsCarlsson, LinusBrännström, Åke

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Hellström, LarsCarlsson, LinusWestoby, MarkBrännström, Åke
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