David Da Silva

David Da Silva

AgreenSkills session, year: 1st session, 2012

Receiving laboratory: AGAP Genetic Improvement and Plant Adaptation Montpellier, France

Country of origin : USA

E-Mail: dasilva@supagro.inra.fr



Mobility project

Modeling water and nitrogen management techniques according to their ability to maintain high quality of fruit production on Apple and Peach trees

Studying and understanding fruit quality and yield in fruit trees in response to irrigation and nitrogen status is a difficult endeavour. Trees are very complex organisms that are governed and influenced by multiple factors. Traditional experimental approaches to these problems are based on the study of a limited number of variables. Moreover, there are a large number of uncertainties and/or uncontrolled factors that make any observed response only representative of the specific conditions where that experiment took place. In many instances, confusion delays advance of knowledge and understanding only arises after many experiments under different conditions and seasons have been conducted. The integration of multiple variables at the whole-tree level, under different environmental conditions and over multiple years requires a modeling approach.

A possible way to speed the progress in fruit quality and yield responses to irrigation and N management is by using computer-based crop models. These crop models can represent a conceptual platform in which many governing processes can be integrated and possible theoretical responses studied. This project is aimed towards developing functional-structural plant models (FSPM) that can be useful to study the impact of water management and nutritional status on fruit quality and yield. I develop these models on two representative deciduous species: Apple and Peach. I use the most recent models developed for these species to integrate knowledge and develop solutions for sustainable fruit production in a context of increasing ecological and climatic stresses.

Biography & research interests

My field of research is related to the study of dynamic systems with dynamic structures, such as growing plants. Most of my work aims at understanding the intricate relationship that exists between plant structure and their functioning. To that end, I use Functional Structural Plant Modeling, a highly interdisciplinary approach at the crossroad of mathematic, physic, ecophysiology and computer science. I did my PhD in the VirtualPlants team of UMR DAP in Montpellier under the joint supervision of Christophe Godin (INRIA) and Hervé Sinoquet (INRA). This work focused on the description and analysis of the multi-scale organisation of foliage using tools from fractal geometry, and the impact of such an organisation on light interception. Then, for my first postdoctoral fellowship, I joined the lab of Theodore DeJong at the University of California Davis to work on the LPeach model. LPeach is a functional-structural plant model of tree growth where all organs are considered as semi-autonomous components connected to each other and competing for resources. During that time, I mainly worked on linking the water stress effects on carbon partitioning by adding a xylem model to LPeach. I, then, generalized the LPeach framework to use it on Almond trees, and consequently developed the LAlmond model.

Selected publications

K. S. Pope, V. Dose, D. Da Silva, P. H. Brown, C. A. Leslie, and T. M. DeJong. Detecting nonlinear response of spring phenology to climate change by Bayesian analysis. Glob Change Biol, 19(5) :1518–1525, 2013.

G. Louarn, D. Da Silva, C. Godin, and D. Combes. Simple envelope-based reconstruction methods can infer light partitioning among individual plants in sparse and dense herbaceous canopies. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology,166-167 :98–112, 2012.

D. Da Silva, P. Balandier, F. Boudon, A. Marquier, and C. Godin. Modeling of light transmission under heterogeneous forest canopy : an appraisal of the effect of the precision level of crown description. Annals of Forest Science, 69(2) :181–193, 2012.

L. Han, D. Da Silva, F. Boudon, T. Cokelaer, C. Pradal, R. Faivre, and E. Costes. Investigating the Influence of Geometrical Traits on Light Interception Effciency of Apple Trees : a Modelling Study with MAppleT, pages 152–159. IEEE Press, 2012.

D. Da Silva, R. Favreau, I. Auzmendi, and T. M. DeJong. Linking water stress effects on carbon partitioning by introducing a xylem circuit into L-PEACH. Annals of Botany, 108(6) :1135–1145, 2011.

T. M. DeJong, D. Da Silva, J. Vos, and A. J. Escobar-Gutiérrez. Using functional-structural plant models to study, understand and integrate plant development and ecophysiology. Annals of Botany, 108(6) :987–989, 2011.

D. Da Silva, F. Boudon, C. Godin, and H. Sinoquet. Multiscale Framework for Modeling and Analyzing Light Interception by Trees. Multiscale Modeling & Simulation, 7(2) :910–933, 2008.

D. Da Silva, F. Boudon, C. Godin, O. Puech, C. Smith, and H. Sinoquet. A Critical Appraisal of the Box Counting Method to Assess the Fractal Dimension of Tree Crowns. In G. Brebis, editor, Lecture Notes In Computer Science, pages 751–760, 2006.


E-Mail: dasilva@supagro.inra.fr

Website(s): http://umr-agap.cirad.fr/en/scientific-teams/architecture-and-functioning-of-fruit-species/context-and-challenges

CV: Download curriculum vitae