Some Parameter Estimation Issues in Functional-Structural Plant Modelling

Abstract : 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.
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Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena, EDP Sciences, 2011, 6 (2), pp.133-159. 〈10.1051/mmnp/20116205〉
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Paul-Henry Cournède, Veronique Letort, Amélie Mathieu, Meng Zhen Kang, Sébastien Lemaire, et al.. Some Parameter Estimation Issues in Functional-Structural Plant Modelling. Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena, EDP Sciences, 2011, 6 (2), pp.133-159. 〈10.1051/mmnp/20116205〉. 〈hal-00631509〉

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