The need to integrate the expanding body of knowledge in the plant sciences has led to the development of sophisticated modelling approaches, such as functional-structural plant (FSP) modelling, which are the result of cross-fertilization between the domains of plant science, computer science and mathematics. FSP models simulate growth and morphology of individual plants and interactions with the environment, from which complex plant community properties emerge.
Evers et al., in the preface to this 2018 Annals of Botany Special Issue, present the latest developments in FSP modelling, including simulation of novel plant ecophysiological concepts and new model applications. FSP modelling is now an established approach that has matured over the years, offering opportunities for computational botany to address questions in complex plant systems that cannot be fully explained by empirical approaches alone.
This paper is part of the Annals of Botany Special Issue on Functional-Structural Plant Growth Modelling. It will be free access until June 2018, then available only to subscribers until April 2019 when it will be free access again.