The matching of models to experiments means using mathematics for formulating biological concepts and second, using algebra, calculus, or, now more frequently, computers to solve or simulate the resulting model; and finally, comparing, qualitatively or quantitatively, prediction to measurement. Computers are the important enabling technology that makes it all possible: solving equations, assembling models of increasing sophistication and complexity, and comparing theory with experiment.
The book is divided into three parts.
Part I. Covers subjects of wide relevance to modelling and plant biology.
Part II. The reader may choose to select topics of particular interest from part II. However, the whole-plant modeller will need to study all chapters, and the plant ecosystem modeller may need to add other material also.
Part III. Plant morphology is at an introductory level. It is included because morphological characters may prove to be of equal importance to some physiological traits in determining plant function and performance.
"This textbook presents, in an interesting and clearly written fashion, a mathematical approach to a wide range of topics in plant and crop physiology, including light interception, leaf and canopy photosynthesis, respiration, partitioning, transpiration and water relations, branching and phyllotaxis. The biochemistry of plant growth and maintenanace is also presented in some detail. I was very pleased with the text, especially with the philosophy presented by the authors that biological models are necessarily simplifications of complex detail. I would strongly recommend it for reading and consultation by graduates and research workers." J. Exp. Botany
"The authors' approach succeeds admirably, giving a thorough account of the mathematical toolbox available to researchers and the areas in which those tools have been used." Plant, Cell and Environment
"Combining considerable technical cleverness with creativity and the refreshing notion that science is a "common-sense, unpredictable, fascinating and thoroughly human activity." Times Higher Educational Supplement
"Exceptionally scholarly volume. Logical and systematic. Authors have assembled a mass of mathematical material in an elegant layout." Agricultural Systems