Chapter 8: Implications for Everyday Systems

Section 6: Growth of Plants and Animals

Self-limiting growth

It is often said that in plants, unlike animals, there is no global control of growth. And one feature of the simple branching processes I describe is that for purely mathematical reasons, their rules always produce structures that are of limited size. Note that in fact it is known that there is some global control of growth even in plants: for example hormones produced by leaves can affect growth of roots.

From Stephen Wolfram: A New Kind of Science [citation]