In conjunction with the interdisciplinary activities of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), a seminar series on topics in mathematical biology will be hosted at NIMBioS every other Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) in the Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd. Seminar speakers will focus on their research initiatives at the interface of mathematics and many areas of the life sciences. Light refreshments will be served in Room 205 beginning 30 minutes before each talk. Faculty and students from across the UT community are welcome to join us.
Time/Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 3:30 p.m.*
Location: Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Dr. Charles "Chuck" Price, NIMBioS Sabbatical Fellow, Biology, Univ. of Western Australia
Topic: Flow similarity, stochastic branching, and quarter power scaling in plants
Abstract: The origin of allometric scaling patterns that are multiples of one-fourth has long fascinated biologists. Several models have been advanced to explain the underlying principles of such patterns, but questions regarding the disconnect between model structures and empirical data have limited their widespread acceptance. I show that quarter power scaling can be derived using only the preservation of volume flow rate and velocity as constraints. Applying the model to the specific case of land plants, I show that incorporating biomechanical principles and allowing different parts of plant branching networks to be optimized to serve different functions predicts non-linearity in allometric relationships, and helps explain why interspecific scaling exponents covary along a fractal continuum. Data from numerous sources at the level of plant shoots, stems, petioles, and leaves show strong agreement with model predictions. This novel theoretical framework provides an easily testable alternative to current general models of plant metabolic allometry.
*Join us for refreshments at 3 p.m.
Seminar Flyer (pdf)
For more information about this and other NIMBioS Seminars, visit http://www.nimbios.org/seminars.