Modeling reconfiguration strategies in plants submitted to flow

Abstract : Terrestrial plants and aquatic vegetation are submitted to a strong interaction with the external fluid flow. In order to overcome the flow-induced loads, plants reconfigure: flow induces geometrical changes, thereby reducing the loads. This thesis presents a simple theoretical framework for modeling and understanding reconfiguration strategies, by deformation and breakage. It is shown that trees will undergo flow-induced pruning, which is an efficient survival strategy under important flow velocities. In the general case involving both deformation and breakage, reconfiguration is found to follow a two-step process, first elastic reconfiguration, and then brittle reconfiguration. We obtain therefore a general characterization of reconfiguration strategies in plants, depending on their physical parameters. A homogenized model is then developed in order to generalize the computation of reconfiguration of ramified systems under flow. According to this model, a branched system is represented by a bundle of fibers. The continuous formulation of this problem allows for coupling with the fluid equations, and provides new perspectives for the study of ramified systems in general.
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Contributor : Diego Lopez <>
Submitted on : Monday, December 17, 2012 - 7:28:40 PM
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Diego Lopez. Modeling reconfiguration strategies in plants submitted to flow. Biomechanics [physics.med-ph]. Ecole Polytechnique X, 2012. English. ⟨pastel-00766223⟩

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