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

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 curren

Contact: Christine Zeindler
McGill University

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Plastic that grows on trees
2. Human ancestors learned to walk upright in the trees, say experts
3. Lessons from the orangutans: Upright walking may have begun in the trees
4. Seeing the trees for the forest: WHRC scientists creating national biomass and carbon dataset
5. Mystery of fossilized trees is solved
6. How trees manage water in arid environments
7. Squirrels winning at outwitting trees survival strategy
8. Software, evolution and micro-inversions -- improving the building of phylogenetic trees
9. Frankincense trees overexploited for Christmas scent
10. A chilling solution: Measuring below-ground carbon without destroying trees
11. Mode of seed dispersal greatly shapes placement of rainforest trees

Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/12/2015)... -- A golden retriever that stayed healthy despite having the ... a new lead for treating this muscle-wasting disorder, report ... MIT and Harvard and the University of São Paolo ... Cell, pinpoints a protective gene that boosts muscle ... Boston Children,s lab of Lou Kunkel , PhD, ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... , Nov. 10, 2015 ... behavioral biometrics that helps to identify and verify ... Signature is considered as the secure and accurate ... identification of a particular individual because each individual,s ... accurate results especially when dynamic signature of an ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based ... clinical research, is pleased to announce that it has ... as one of only three finalists for a ... and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor Minnesota ... technology innovation and leadership. iMedNet™ eClinical ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna ... announced today that the remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation ... Purchase Warrants (the "Series B Warrants") subject to ... exercised on November 23, 2015, which will result ... After giving effect to the issuance of such ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... are paramount. Insertion points for in-line sensors can represent a weak spot where ... InTrac 781/784 series of retractable sensor housings , which are designed to tolerate ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Vancouver, BC (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 ... ... to our customer, OrthoAccel® Technologies, Inc., on being named to Deloitte's 2015 Technology ... Creation Technologies’ Texas facility, OrthoAccel manufactures AcceleDent®, a FDA-cleared, Class II medical device ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapeutics, today ... Officer, is scheduled to present at the 2015 Piper ... a.m. EST, at The Lotte New York Palace Hotel ... http://capricor.com/news/events/ . --> http://capricor.com/news/events/ . ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: