training school 2014

Ghent, Belgium: 26-28 May 2014

Organizer: Kathy Steppe

The COST-action STReESS organised a training school on Modelling drought stress responses in trees, which was held in Ghent, Belgium on 26-28 May 2014. The Laboratory of Plant Ecology, Ghent University, hosted the training school. Four specialists in the field (Dr Dirk De Pauw, Phyto-IT, Belgium; Dr Veerle De Schepper, Laboratory of Plant Ecology, Ghent University, Belgium; Dr Teemu Hölttä, Department of Forest Ecology, University of Helsinki, Finland; and Prof Kathy Steppe, Laboratory of Plant Ecology, Ghent University, Belgium) gave the training over a period of three days, combining theory and hands-on experience. Thirty-one early stage researchers of the COST-action, coming from sixteen different countries, attended the training school.

The training school provided a solid background in mechanistic plant modelling as well as hands-on experience with plant models to analyse drought responses in trees. The training school covered the following topics:

  • Basics in mechanistic plant modelling
    • Model building
    • Dynamic model simulation
    • Uncertainty analysis
    • Sensitivity analysis
    • Identifiability analysis
    • Automatic model calibration
  • Introduction to the PhytoSim modelling and simulation software
  • Demonstration of different hydraulic tree models: ArtiTree, STACI and GrowTree, in which a fixed, an exponential and a PLC-driven hydraulic resistance was implemented
  • Application of the models to investigate drought stress responses in trees using sample datasets of sap flow, stem diameter variations, soil and leaf water potential collected on Quercus pubescens Willd. (Pubescent oak) and Pinus sylvestris L. (Scots pine)

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