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  • Author or Editor: Romeo Favreau x
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Modeling source–sink interactions and carbohydrate partitioning in plants requires a detailed model of plant architectural development, in which growth and function of each organ is modeled individually and carbohydrate transport among organs is modeled dynamically. L-PEACH is an L-system-based graphical simulation model that combines supply/demand concepts of carbon partitioning with an L-system model of tree architecture to create a distributed supply/demand system of carbon allocation within a growing tree. The whole plant is modeled as a branching network of sources and sinks, connected by conductive elements. An analogy to an electric network is used to calculate the flow and partitioning of carbohydrates between the individual components. The model can simulate multiple years of tree growth and be used to demonstrate effects of irrigation, crop load, and pruning on architectural development, tree growth, and carbon partitioning. Qualitative model outputs are viewed graphically as the tree “grows” on the computer screen while quantitative output data can be evaluated individually for each organ or collectively for an organ type using the MatLab software.

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L-PEACH is a computer-based model that simulates the growth of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] trees. The model integrates important concepts related to carbon assimilation, distribution, and use in peach trees. It also includes modeling of the responses to horticultural practices such as tree pruning and fruit thinning. While running L-PEACH, three-dimensional (3D) depictions of simulated growing trees can be displayed on the computer screen and the user can easily interact with the model. Quantitative data generated during a simulation can be saved to a file or printed for visualization and analysis. L-PEACH is a powerful tool for understanding how peach trees function in the field environment, and it can be used as an innovative method for dissemination of knowledge related with carbohydrate assimilation and partitioning. In this study, we describe the version of L-PEACH that runs on a daily time-step (L-PEACH-d) and how users can run the model and interact with it. To demonstrate how L-PEACH-d works, different pruning and fruit thinning strategies were analyzed. Regarding pruning, model outputs showed 3D depictions of unpruned trees and pruned trees trained to a perpendicular V system. For the fruit thinning studies, we simulated different intensities and dates of fruit thinning in mature peach trees. Total simulated yield increased with crop load but the opposite was observed for average fruit weight. An optimal balance between simulated total yield and average fruit weight was obtained by leaving 150 fruit per tree. Simulating different dates of fruit thinning indicated that fruit weight at harvest was higher on earlier compared with later-thinned trees. The model indicates that fruit thinning should be therefore carried out early in the season to maximize fruit size. The simulation results demonstrate that L-PEACH-d can be used as an educational tool and facilitate the adoption of suitable cultural practices for efficient production.

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