Computational fluid dynamics modelling of the microclimate within the boundary layer of leaves leading to improved pest control management and low-input greenhouse

Hicham Fatnassi, Thierry Boulard, Christine Poncet, Nikolaos Katsoulas, Thomas Bartzanas, Murat Kacira, Habtamu Giday, In Bok Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This work aims at using the Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) approach to study the distributed microclimate in the leaf boundary layer of greenhouse crops. Understanding the interactions in this microclimate of this natural habitat of plant pests (i.e., boundary layer of leaves), is a prerequisite for their control through targeted climate management for sustainable greenhouse production. The temperature and humidity simulations, inside the greenhouse, were performed using CFD code which has been adapted to simulate the plant activity within each mesh in the crop canopy. The air temperature and air humidity profiles within the boundary layer of leaves were deduced from the local surrounding climate parameters, based on an analytical approach, encapsulated in a Used Defined Function (UDF), and dynamically linked to the CFD solver, a work that forms an innovative and original task. Thus, this model represents a new approach to investigate the microclimate in the boundary layer of leaves under greenhouses, which resolves the issue of the inaccessibility of this area by the conventionnel measurement tools. The findings clearly showed that (i) contrarily to what might be expected, the microclimate parameters within the boundary layer of leaves are different from the surrounding climate in the greenhouse. This is particularly visible during photoperiods when the plant’s transpiration activity is at its maximum and that (ii) the climatic parameters in the leaf boundary layer are more coupled with leaf surfaces than with those of greenhouse air. These results can help developing localized intervention strategies on the microclimate within boundary layer of plant leaves, leading to improved and sustainable pest control management. The developed climatic strategies will make it possible to optimize resources use efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8310
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021


  • CFD modeling tool
  • Leaf boundary layer microclimate
  • Smart microclimate control
  • Sustainable pest management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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