SimRoot: Modelling and visualization of root systems

Jonathan P. Lynch, Kai L. Nielsen, Robert D. Davis, Andrei G. Jablokow

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SimRoot, a geometric simulation model of plant root systems, is described. This model employs a data structure titled the Extensible Tree, which is well suited to the type of data required to model root systems. As implemented on Silicon Graphics workstations, the data structure and visualization code provides for continuous viewing of the simulated root system during growth. SimRoot differs from existing models in the explicit treatment of spatial heterogeneity of physiological processes in the root system, and by inclusion of a kinematic treatment of root axes. Examples are provided of the utility of the model in estimating the fractal geometry of simulated root systems in 1, 2, and 3 dimensional space. We envision continued development of the model to incorporate competition from neighboring root systems, linkage with crop simulation models to simulate root-shoot interactions, explicit treatment of soil heterogeneity, and plasticity of root responses to soil factors such as presence of mycorrhizal associations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant and Soil
Pages (from-to)139-151
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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