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Importance of the description of light interception in crop growth models

Abstract : Canopy light interception determines the amount of energy captured by a crop, and is thus critical to modeling crop growth and yield, and may substantially contribute to the prediction uncertainty of crop growth models (CGMs). We thus analyzed the canopy light interception models of the 26 wheat (Triticum aestivum) CGMs used by the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP). Twenty-one CGMs assume that the light extinction coefficient (K) is constant, varying from 0.37 to 0.80 depending on the model. The other models take into account the illumination conditions and assume either that all green surfaces in the canopy have the same inclination angle (θ) or that θ distribution follows a spherical distribution. These assumptions have not yet been evaluated due to a lack of experimental data. Therefore, we conducted a field experiment with five cultivars with contrasting leaf stature sown at normal and double row spacing, and analyzed θ distribution in the canopies from three-dimensional canopy reconstructions. In all the canopies, θ distribution was well represented by an ellipsoidal distribution. We thus carried out an intercomparison between the light interception models of the AgMIP–Wheat CGMs ensemble and a physically based K model with ellipsoidal leaf angle distribution and canopy clumping (KellC). Results showed that the KellC model outperformed current approaches under most illumination conditions and that the uncertainty in simulated wheat growth and final grain yield due to light models could be as high as 45%. Therefore, our results call for an overhaul of light interception models in CGMs.
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Contributor : Marie Weiss <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 4:39:05 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 17, 2021 - 3:11:08 AM


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Shouyang Liu, Frédéric Baret, Mariem Abichou, Loïc Manceau, Bruno Andrieu, et al.. Importance of the description of light interception in crop growth models. Plant Physiology, American Society of Plant Biologists, 2021, ⟨10.1093/plphys/kiab113⟩. ⟨hal-03222455⟩



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