Simulating crop-parasitic weed interactions using APSIM: Model evaluation and application
Grenz, J and Manschadi, AM and deVoil, P and Meinke, HB and Sauerborn, J, Simulating crop-parasitic weed interactions using APSIM: Model evaluation and application, European Journal of Agronomy, 24, (3) pp. 257-267. ISSN 1161-0301 (2006) [Refereed Article]
The parasitic weed Orobanche crenata inflicts major damage on faba bean, lentil, pea and other crops in Mediterranean environments. The development of methods to control O. crenata is to a large extent hampered by the complexity of host-parasite systems. Using a model of host-parasite interactions can help to explain and understand this intricacy. This paper reports on the evaluation and application of a model simulating host-parasite competition as affected by environment and management that was implemented in the framework of the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM). Model-predicted faba bean and O. crenata growth and development were evaluated against independent data. The APSIM-Fababean and -Parasite modules displayed a good capability to reproduce effects of pedoclimatic conditions, faba bean sowing date and O. crenata infestation on host-parasite competition. The r(2) values throughout exceeded 0.84 (RMSD: 5.36 days) for phenological, 0.85 (RMSD: 223.00 g m(-2)) for host growth and 0.78 (RMSD: 99.82 g m(-2)) for parasite growth parameters. Inaccuracies of simulated faba bean root growth that caused some bias of predicted parasite number and host yield loss may be dealt with by more flexibly simulating vertical root distribution. The model was applied in simulation experiments to determine optimum sowing windows for infected and non-infected faba bean in Mediterranean environments. Simulation results proved realistic and testified to the capability of APSIM to contribute to the development of tactical approaches in parasitic weed control.