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In Journal of the Royal Society, Interface

Branching in vascular networks and in overall organismic form is one of the most common and ancient features of multicellular plants, fungi and animals. By combining machine-learning techniques with new theory that relates vascular form to metabolic function, we enable novel classification of diverse branching networks-mouse lung, human head and torso, angiosperm and gymnosperm plants. We find that ratios of limb radii-which dictate essential biologic functions related to resource transport and supply-are best at distinguishing branching networks. We also show how variation in vascular and branching geometry persists despite observing a convergent relationship across organisms for how metabolic rate depends on body mass.

Brummer Alexander B, Lymperopoulos Panagiotis, Shen Jocelyn, Tekin Elif, Bentley Lisa P, Buzzard Vanessa, Gray Andrew, Oliveras Imma, Enquist Brian J, Savage Van M


branching networks, machine learning, metabolic scaling, vascular biology