Plant architecture is important for light capture. In the field, plants compete with neighbours for light. In a competing system, game theory is needed to consider advantageous strategy (evolutionarily stable strategy; ESS).
Yoshinaka et al. focus on a trade-off between lamina area and petiole length and analyse an evolutionarily stable petiole length in stands of Xanthium canadense (Asteraceae) using a simulation model YPLANT. They find that there are multiple evolutionarily stable petiole lengths even in one stand, suggesting that plants with different architectures can coexist across plant communities. The mean of evolutionarily stable petiole length was similar to the real one. Yoshinaka et al. conclude that actual plants realize evolutionarily stable architecture in dense stands.
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.