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Detailed view Article in peer-reviewed journal
Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena 6, 2 (2011) 133-159
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Some Parameter Estimation Issues in Functional-Structural Plant Modelling
Paul-Henry Cournède1, 2, Veronique Letort1, 2, Amélie Mathieu3, Meng Zhen Kang4, Sébastien Lemaire5, Samis Trevezas1, 2, François Houllier6, Philippe De Reffye6

The development of functional-structural plant models has opened interesting perspectives for a better understanding of plant growth as well as for potential applications in breeding or decision aid in farm management. Parameterization of such models is however a difficult issue due to the complexity of the involved biological processes and the interactions between these processes. The estimation of parameters from experimental data by inverse methods is thus a crucial step. This paper presents some results and discussions as first steps towards the construction of a general framework for the parametric estimation of functional-structural plant models. A general family of models of Carbon allocation formalized as dynamic systems serve as the basis for our study. An adaptation of the 2-stage Aitken estimator to this family of model is introduced as well as its numerical implementation, and applied in two different situations: first a morphogenetic model of sugar beet growth with simple plant structure, multi-stage and detailed observations, and second a tree growth model characterized by sparse observations and strong interactions between functioning and organogenesis. The proposed estimation method appears robust, easy to adapt to a wide variety of models, and generally provides a satisfactory goodness-of-fit. However, it does not allow a proper evaluation of estimation uncertainty. Finally some perspectives opened by the theory of hidden models are discussed.
1:  MAS - Mathématiques Appliquées aux Systèmes - EA 4037
2:  INRIA Saclay - Ile de France - DIGIPLANTE
3:  EGC - Environnement et Grandes Cultures
4:  LIAMA - Eco-informatics
5:  ITB - Institut Technique de la Betterave
6:  AMAP - BotAnique et BioinforMatique de l'Architecture des Plantes
functional-structural plant models – carbon allocation – GreenLab – maximum likelihood estimator – Aitken Estimator – hidden models