Tree architecture

A long‐standing discussion in ecology aims to understand how plants allocate their biomass among roots, stems and leaves to acquire limiting resources aboveground and belowground, and how environmental factors can influence such patterns with age.

The allometric partitioning theory is one of the theories to explain plant allocation strategies. Depending on their adult size (canopy/emergent, subcanopy or understory), trees will respond to canopy gap formation by either investing proportionally more biomass into foliage (understory species and adults of canopy/emergent trees) or stem (saplings of canopy species).

We aim to investigate these paradigms for hyperdiverse Amazonian species with the use of a Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) to map canopy structure and branch architecture of trees at different stages of growth. Data were collected for 3 species in permanent plots at the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project Area of Relevant Ecological Interest in the Brazilian Amazon.

We also investigate how tree architecture changes with fragmentation in the Amazon and logging in Borneo, and use long-term tree measurements to investigate whether changes in tree branching and canopy may influence tree dynamics.

Explore the canopy of an Amazonian tree and discover its wonders!