Journal Article

Modelling fruit-temperature dynamics within apple tree crowns using virtual plants

M. Saudreau, A. Marquier, B. Adam and H. Sinoquet

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 108, issue 6, pages 1111-1120
Published in print October 2011 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online April 2011 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcr054
Modelling fruit-temperature dynamics within apple tree crowns using virtual plants

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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Background and Aims

Fruit temperature results from a complex system involving the climate, the tree architecture, the fruit location within the tree crown and the fruit thermal properties. Despite much theoretical and experimental evidence for large differences (up to 10 °C in sunny conditions) between fruit temperature and air temperature, fruit temperature is never used in horticultural studies. A way of modelling fruit-temperature dynamics from climate data is addressed in this work.

Methods

The model is based upon three-dimensional virtual representation of apple trees and links three-dimensional virtual trees with a physical-based fruit-temperature dynamical model. The overall model was assessed by comparing model outputs to field measures of fruit-temperature dynamics.

Key Results

The model was able to simulate both the temperature dynamics at fruit scale, i.e. fruit-temperature gradients and departure from air temperature, and at the tree scale, i.e. the within-tree-crown variability in fruit temperature (average root mean square error value over fruits was 1·43 °C).

Conclusions

This study shows that linking virtual plants with the modelling of the physical plant environment offers a relevant framework to address the modelling of fruit-temperature dynamics within a tree canopy. The proposed model offers opportunities for modelling effects of the within-crown architecture on fruit thermal responses in horticultural studies.

Keywords: Three-dimensional; 3-D; tree architecture; light interception; energy balance; phylloclimate; Malus domestica

Journal Article.  5950 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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