Simulation and visualisation of functional landscape: effects of the water resource competition between plants

Abstract : Vegetation ecosystem simulation and visualisation are challenging topics involving multidisciplinary aspects. In this paper, we present a new generic frame for the simulation of natural phenomena through manageable and interacting models. It focuses on the functional growth of large vegetal ecosystems, showing coherence for scales ranging from the individual plant to communities and with a particular attention to the effects of water resource competition between plants. The proposed approach is based on a model of plant growth in interaction with the environmental conditions. These are deduced from the climatic data (light, temperature, rainfall) and a model of soil hydrological budget. A set of layers is used to store the water resources and to build the interfaces between the environmental data and landscape components: temperature, rain, light, altitude, lakes, plant positions, biomass, cycles, etc. At the plant level, the simulation is performed for each individual by a structural-functional growth model, interacting with the plant's environment. Temperature is spatialised, changing according to altitude, and thus locally controls plant growth speed. The competition for water is based on a soil hydrological model taking into account rainfalls, water runoff, absorption, diffusion, percolation in soil. So far, the incoming light radiation is not studied in detail and is supposed constant. However, competition for light between plants is directly taken into account in the plant growth model. In our implementation, we propose a simple architecture for such a simulator and a simulation scheme to synchronise the water resource updating (on a temporal basis) and the plant growth cycles (determined by the sum of daily temperatures). The visualisation techniques are based on sets of layers, allowing both morphological and functional landscape views and providing interesting tools for ecosystem management. The implementation of the proposed frame leads to encouraging results that are presented and illustrate simple academic cases.
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Journal articles
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Contributor : Yannick Brohard <>
Submitted on : Thursday, November 29, 2007 - 11:50:55 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 11:29:55 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-00192729, version 1

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Vincent Le Chevalier, Marc Jaeger, Xing Mei, Paul-Henry Cournède. Simulation and visualisation of functional landscape: effects of the water resource competition between plants. Journal of Computer Science and Technology, Iberoamerican Science & Technology Education Consortium, 2007, 22 (2), pp.835-845. ⟨hal-00192729⟩

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