Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 551231
Title An architectural understanding of natural sway frequencies in trees
Author(s) Jackson, T.; Shenkin, A.; Moore, J.; Bunce, A.; Emmerik, T. Van; Kane, B.; Burcham, D.; James, K.; Selker, J.; Calders, K.; Origo, N.; Disney, M.; Burt, A.; Wilkes, P.; Raumonen, P.; Gonzalez De Tanago Menaca, J.; Lau, A.; Herold, M.; Goodman, R.C.; Fourcaud, T.; Malhi, Y.
Source Journal of the Royal Society, Interface 16 (2019)155. - ISSN 1742-5689 - 9 p.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2019.0116
Department(s) Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management
Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Abstract The relationship between form and function in trees is the subject of a longstanding debate in forest ecology and provides the basis for theories concerning forest ecosystem structure and metabolism. Trees interact with the wind in a dynamic manner and exhibit natural sway frequencies and damping processes that are important in understanding wind damage. Tree-wind dynamics are related to tree architecture, but this relationship is not well understood. We present a comprehensive view of natural sway frequencies in trees by compiling a dataset of field measurement spanning conifers and broadleaves, tropical and temperate forests. The field data show that a cantilever beam approximation adequately predicts the fundamental frequency of conifers, but not that of broadleaf trees. We also use structurally detailed tree dynamics simulations to test fundamental assumptions underpinning models of natural frequencies in trees. We model the dynamic properties of greater than 1000 trees using a finite-element approach based on accurate three-dimensional model trees derived from terrestrial laser scanning data. We show that (1) residual variation, the variation not explained by the cantilever beam approximation, in fundamental frequencies of broadleaf trees is driven by their architecture; (2) slender trees behave like a simple pendulum, with a single natural frequency dominating their motion, which makes them vulnerable to wind damage and (3) the presence of leaves decreases both the fundamental frequency and the damping ratio. These findings demonstrate the value of new three-dimensional measurements for understanding wind impacts on trees and suggest new directions for improving our understanding of tree dynamics from conifer plantations to natural forests.
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