Consequences of the fractal architecture of trees on their structural measures
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While the mechanics of trees are well known, a systematic and comprehensive study of the mechanical consequences of a tree's fractal structure has been lacking. Here, we analyze the structure of botanical trees using computer modeling and show that many relevant measures of support throughout all the branches of a tree follow specific patterns which can be described by characteristic probability distributions and well-defined spatial relationships. Most notably, moments, forces, and axial and shear stresses throughout the different branches all exhibit power-law distributions. These results suggest a new approach to the study of the mechanics of trees, one accounting for the implications of the above results.
author list (cited authors)
Pluciński, M., Pluciński, S., & Rodríguez-Iturbe, I.