Calculating Hyphal Surface Area in Models of Fungal Networks


  • Laurens Bakker
  • Andrew Poelstra Simon Fraser University



Fungal networks, Mathematical biology, Mathematical modelling


Filamentous fungi grow efficient nutrient transportation networks which are highly resilient to attacks by grazers. Understanding them may benefit the design of human-built networks, where such properties are sought after. We recently developed a mathematical model that improved previous 2-dimensional studies by representing the space in a 3-dimensional face-centered cubic lattice. While the model focused on structural aspects (hyphal orientation, branching, and fusion), these are closely tied to functional aspects, that is, the handling of nutrients. In this paper, we refine our previous model by modelling the hyphal network as a set of cylindrical tubes connecting spherical junction points, and calculating the exact local hyphal surface area. In further development of the model, this will allow the refinement and incorporation of existing nutrient consumption models - in particular, how nutrients are used for turgor maintenance at a particular network location.

Author Biographies

Laurens Bakker

Andrew Poelstra, Simon Fraser University

Department of Mathematics, Simon Fraser University






Original Articles