Madrid, 19 years old (European Press)
But scientists from Bangor University in the UK and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) have discovered in new research that this rule conflicts with the one that regulates the internal structures of trees.
Da Vinci’s interest in drawing led him to observe the size ratios of various objects, including trees, in order to create more accurate representations of them. To represent trees correctly, he recognized the so-called “tree rule,” which states that “all branches of a tree, at every stage of its height, have the same thickness of the trunk when together.”
It was thought that Leonardo’s ‘rule of trees’ could also apply to the vascular canals that transport water through the tree, where individual canals decrease in size in the same proportion, as branches become larger and narrower, while continuing to increase in size. Trunk size. This rule has been accepted as part of metabolic scaling theory.
But scientists at Bangor University and SLU have shown that this model is not entirely valid when applied to the internal vascular structures of trees. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
For water and nutrients to move efficiently through the tree, from root to leaf tip, the vascular system must maintain hydraulic resistance.
Robin Valbuena and Stuart Swope of Bangor University and SLU have calculated that for hydraulic resistance to work, there comes a point at which the tree base is no longer valid.
To efficiently move fluids from roots to leaf tips, a tree’s vascular canals must maintain a certain dimension to maintain hydraulic resistance. Therefore, the plant must reduce its size as it reaches its tips, causing a larger proportion of capillaries compared to the surrounding plant mass.
As Dr. Rubén Valbuena (Emeritus Professor at Bangor University and current professor at SLU) explains in a statement: “Although it is great ‘advice’ for artists, which is what da Vinci intended, the base of Leonardo’s trees does not hold up at the micro level.
“We believe our calculations further improve metabolic scaling theory and improve understanding of the plant system as a whole. Our new calculations may also explain why larger trees are more vulnerable to drought and may also be more vulnerable to climate change.”
“One of our goals was to produce a ratio that could be used to estimate tree biomass and forest carbon. This new ratio will help calculate global carbon,” said co-author Stuart Sope, who is currently studying for a PhD in Environmental Science at Bangor University. Tree detention.