Facebook post by University of Helsinki

The way sunlight filters through the leafy roof of a forest affects the energy production of trees. 🌲☀️ Maxime Durand explores how. Animals feed themselves, trees do photosynthesis. They convert light energy ☀️into the chemical energy that’s needed for their vital functions. 🌳🔋⚡️️ Tree branches and leaves make up the forest canopy. Since photosyntesis starts with sunlight absorption by 🍃leaves, it depends on canopy arrangement and optical properties (canopy structure). Canopy structure is in turn shaped by sunlight conditions – particularly by its intensity, duration and spectral composition. Also, sunlight varies with weather ⛅️(sunny, cloudy, polluted). So how does tree canopy structure affect photosynthesis under different weather conditions? 👀❓ Maxime Durand’s postdoctoral research focuses on this question, building on the work of MSc Vicent Ribas Costa. In the forest, Maxime flies a drone up to take 360° photos of the surrounding tree canopy at different heights. Then he combines the pictures into a single-layered one (swipe for an example). By analyzing the pictures, he outlines the canopy structure and explores how it relates to sunlight variations and photosynthesis. Maxime’s work will allow him to predict through models how tree species respond to different light environments. This has diverse applications – e.g., studying the effects of climate change on plants 💚🌍, and optimizing crop production. 🚜 Want to know more? ➡️ https://blogs.helsinki.fi/robson/?utm_medium=social_owned&utm_source=facebook