Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How to use math and a CT scanner to see how trees intercept light

15.10.2004


What do trees and statistics have in common? Pierre Dutilleul, a statistician and professor in McGill’s Department of Plant Science (Montreal, Canada), will tell you that many natural systems can be better understood using equations and models, provided appropriate data are collected.



Dutilleul is one of the first scientists who have used a computed tomography (CT) scanner to study how tree branching affects light interception. "We collect CT scan data, which basically measures of density in 3D, to quantify the complexity of plant branching patterns," he explains. "This will lead to a more complete and accurate model providing a better understanding of why some plants perform better in given light environments. This is important because in the long run, it means less fertilizer application and less greenhouse gas in the atmosphere through enhanced photosynthesis".

Dutilleul and his group are using CT scan data to create 3-D images of plant canopies. After scanning a plant, such as a young cedar, a computer converts the CT scan data into a digital 3-D model. As leaves and branches yield different CT scan data, the leaves can be removed from the digital model. The resulting skeletal images give more detailed and accurate information than the traditional methods of plant characterization. This information can then be used to estimate the amount of light intercepted by the plant.


"Our system and our models will allow us to predict which branching patterns are more efficient at capturing light," said Dutilleul. "This is of obvious importance when choosing which plants to grow in environments with short photoperiod."

Dutilleul has developed links between statistics and life sciences throughout his career. His research in applied statistics at McGill incorporates both temporal (in time) and spatial (in space) components. He applies his statistical methods to agricultural, biological and environmental sciences. As an example, he is currently working with entomologists (insect researchers) to assess the impact of a variety of transgenic cotton on butterfly populations. The CT scanning facility that he co-ordinated the creation and start-up of provide researchers in plant, soil and animal sciences with an amazing tool for pioneering research in these areas.

Christine Zeindler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mcgill.ca

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Robotic weeders: to a farm near you?
10.01.2018 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht Alfalfa loss? Annual ryegrass is a win
03.01.2018 | American Society of Agronomy

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

White graphene makes ceramics multifunctional

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Breaking bad metals with neutrons

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

ISFH-CalTeC is “designated test centre” for the confirmation of solar cell world records

16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>