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Shenkin, Alexander The Surface of Trees: Architecture and Global Processes Talk
Alexander Shenkin1, Phil Wilkes2, Lisa Patrick Bentley3, Mathias Disney2 and Yadvinder Malhi1
(1) University of Oxford, School of Geography and the Environment(2) University College London, Department of Geography(3) Sonoma State University, Department of Biology

Tree architecture – the shape and arrangement of stems and branches – has been of interest to thinkers since the middle ages, to foresters for over a century, and to ecologists for decades. Many advances have been made, yet all of them have been limited by the difficulty of measuring the branching structures of entire trees. Recent advances using Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) and modeling algorithms have allowed us to surpass the scales of measurement previously available both downwards in detail and upwards in extent. Here we report on a new effort deploying TLS across the tropics to understand how and why the architecture of tropical trees varies. In this talk, we present our results that describe the major axes of variation of adult tree architecture, discuss whether discernable groupings emerge from the analysis, and what implications these findings have for our understanding of tropical trees and forests.