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Abstract Detail

Recent Topics Posters

Ratcliffe, Samuel D. [1], Miller, Carson D. [2], RICE , STEVEN K [3].

Design and fabrication of Sphagnum shoots using 3D printing to physically model canopy structure and evaluate form—function relationships.

In bryophytes, the organization of the canopy (i.e., leaf, branch, shoot and colony structure) governs short- and long-term water and carbon balance through its effects on water transport, storage and loss and on light dynamics within the canopy.  In an effort to develop a physical model of a shoot system to generate and test hypotheses about canopy form—function relationships, we utilize emerging 3D printing technology to fabricate shoot scaffolds that form a framework to grow moss gametophytes, thereby creating artificial, physiologically active shoots that can be aggregated to simulate canopies of Sphagnum mosses.  To accomplish this, we have generated a CAD model of a Sphagnum shoot with structures representing the capitulum, spirally arranged paired spreading branches and a stem that will conduct water using wicking material to simulate capillary transport.  The model shoots were printed using a Connex 500 printer with a PVC-like plastic.  Shoot models can be printed to vary in height and arranged to manipulate canopy roughness and density.  Future work will incorporate growth medium into the canopy scaffold to grow bryophyte gametophytes.  Such fabricated, physiologically active canopies will be used to explore how variation in elements of the shoot system affect whole canopy carbon and water dynamics. 

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1 - Union College, Program in Bioengineering, Schenectady, NY, 12308, USA
2 - Union College, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Schenectady, NY, 12308, USA

plant canopy
3D printing
carbon balance
Water relations

Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: P
Location: /
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PRT024
Abstract ID:1262
Candidate for Awards:None

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