Leaf Development and Canopy Growth

1st Edition

Bruce Marshall, Jeremy A. Roberts

Blackwell
Published March 14, 2000
Reference - 330 Pages
ISBN 9780849397691 - CAT# SH9769
Series: Sheffield Biological Siences

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Summary

The focus of leaf development modeling in the last two decades has been on predicting commercial crop yields and identifying the constraints on them. The weakness of this approach: the implicit belief in the existence of a "global brain" deciding which parts of the plant are deficient and directing remedial action. Leaf Development and Canopy Growth presents an alternative view based on "local rules" - the simple results of metabolic processes within each cell. These rules and the interconnections between them provide the means for self-organization within the plant and emergent global behavior - the "apparent" brain.
The book discusses the evolution of plant forms in relation to fitness for survival. It demonstrates the potential for the existence of several alternative forms which are locally optimal on a fitness landscape - alternatives that increase with the number and order of selection pressures imposed. It covers the leaf laminae and their utilization of absorbed energy to fix carbon from the atmosphere. The editors consider a diverse range of species, both as monocultures and mixed-plant communities.
The evolution of plant forms affects the diversity and survival of the whole canopy and diversity within the canopy. Leaf Development and Canopy Growth explores this relationship in a thorough and thought-provoking manner. It places the leaf and canopy in the context of the whole plant and the survival of community diversity - both within and between species.

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