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.
Table of Contents
The evolution of form and function-K.J. Niklas
Plants as self-organising systems-Federico Magnani and John Grace
Genetic analysis of leaf development and differentiation-Toshi Foster and Bruce Veit
Spatio-temporal variation of leaf growth, development and function-A. Walter and U. Schurr
Plant architecture and light signals-Harry Smith
Development of the photosynthetic apparatus-Andrew N. Webber
Nitrogen utilisation and the photosynthetic system-Niels P. R. Anten, Kpuki Hikosaka and Tadaki Hirose
Modelling interactions in mixed-plant communities: light, water and carbon dioxide-J. Wallace and A. Verhoef
Gap dynamics-Ronald J. Ryel and Wolfram Beyschlag
Plant canopy and diversity-G. R. Squire