Developmental models of plant structure capture the spatial arrangement of plant components and their development over time. Simulation results can be presented as schematic or realistic images of plants, and computer animations of developmental processes. The methods of model construction combine a variety of mathematical notions and techniques, from regression analysis and function fitting to Markov processes and Lindenmayer systems (L-systems). This paper presents an overview of the wide range of spatial model categories, including both empirical and causal (mechanistic) models. An emphasis is put on L-systems and their extensions, viewed as a unifying framework for spatial model construction.
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