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Computation of coupled effects of root and shoot characteristics on transpiration based on optimization approach

Wan-Huan Zhou (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Macau, Macau, China)
Ankit Garg (Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India)
Akhil Garg (Department of Mechatronics Engineering, Shantou University, Shantou, China)

Engineering Computations

ISSN: 0264-4401

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




Water balance is measured by transpiration, which has a significant impact on the performance of geotechnical infrastructure (vegetated slopes), ecological infrastructure (wetlands), urban infrastructure (green roof, biofiltration units) and agricultural infrastructure. Past studies have formulated models using analytical modeling to evaluate the transpiration index based on energy balance and suction. In circumstance of impartial and uncertain information about the root and shoot properties and its effect on the transpiration index, the present work aims to introduce the new optimization algorithm of genetic programming (GP) to quantify and optimize the transpiration index of plant.


The GP framework, having objective function of structural risk minimization, is used for formulating the transpiration index model. The statistical metrics with 2D and 3D analyses of the models are conducted to determine its accuracy and understand the transpiration process.


The model analysis reveals that the proposed model extrapolates the transpiration index values accurately based on five inputs. 2D and 3D relationships between the transpiration index and the five inputs suggest that the total root area has the highest impact on the transpiration index followed by shoot length and root biomass. There is not much impact of the shoot mass and stem basal diameter on the transpiration index. It was also found that the transpiration index increases with an increase in total root area and root biomass.


This work is a first-of-its-kind study involving the extensive computation analysis for quantifying and optimizing the transpiration index of the soil for the complex civil systems.



This study was supported by Shantou University Scientific Research Funded Project (Grant No. NTF 16002). The authors also gratefully acknowledge the financial supports from the University of Macau Research Fund (MYRG2015-00112-FST and MYRG2014-00175-FST).


Zhou, W.-H., Garg, A. and Garg, A. (2017), "Computation of coupled effects of root and shoot characteristics on transpiration based on optimization approach", Engineering Computations, Vol. 34 No. 3, pp. 725-738.



Emerald Publishing Limited Bingley, United Kingdom

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