Artistid Lindemayer (1975, 1989, 1990) invented a mathematics based on graph grammar rewriting systems to describe iteratively branching structures; these were named in honor of him and are referred to as L-systems. 3D FractaL-Tree allows scientists to collect data from actual specimens in the field or laboratory, insert these measurements into a spatially explicit L-system package, and then visually compare to the computer generated 3D image with such specimens. The measurements are recorded and analyzed in a series of worksheets in Microsoft Excel® and the results are entered into the graphics engine in a Java applet. 3D FractaL-Tree produces a rotatable three-dimensional image of the tree which is helpful for examining such characters as self-avoidance (entanglement and breakage), penetration of sunlight, distances that small herbivores (such as caterpillars) would have to traverse to go from one tip to another, and Voronoi polyhedra of volume distribution of biomass on different subsections of a tree. These and other factors have been discussed in the Adaptive Geometry of Trees (Horn, 1971). Three different representations are available in 3D FractaL-Tree images: wire frame, solid, and transparent. Easy options for saving and exporting images are included.
Go the the 3D FractaL-Tree module in a new window