Modeling soil-plant functioning of intercrops using comprehensive and generic formalisms implemented in the STICS model - Agrosystèmes Biodiversifiés Access content directly
Journal Articles Agronomy for Sustainable Development Year : 2023

Modeling soil-plant functioning of intercrops using comprehensive and generic formalisms implemented in the STICS model

Abstract

The growing demand for sustainable agriculture is raising interest in intercropping for its multiple potential benefits to avoid or limit the use of chemical inputs or increase the production per surface unit. Predicting the existence and magnitude of those benefits remains a challenge given the numerous interactions between interspecific plant-plant relationships, their environment and the agricultural practices. Soil-crop models are critical in understanding these interactions in dynamics during the whole growing season, but few models are capable of accurately simulating intercropping systems. In this study, we propose a set of simple and generic formalisms for simulating key interactions in intercropping systems that can be readily included into existing dynamic crop models. This requires simulating important processes such as development, light interception, plant growth, N and water balance, and yield formation in response to management practices, soil conditions, and climate. These formalisms were integrated into the STICS soil-crop model and evaluated using observed data of intercropping systems of cereal and legumes mixtures, including Faba bean-Wheat, Pea-Barley, Sunflower-Soybean, and Wheat-Pea mixtures. We demonstrate that the proposed formalisms provide a comprehensive simulation of soil-plant interactions in various types of bispecific intercrops. The model was found consistent and generic under a range of spring and winter intercrops (nRMSE = 25% for maximum leaf area index, 23% for shoot biomass at harvest, and 18% for yield). This is the first time a complete set of formalisms has been developed and published for simulating intercropping systems and integrated into a soil-crop model. With its emphasis on being generic, sufficiently accurate, simple, and easy to parameterize, STICS is well-suited to help researchers designing in silico the agroecological transition by virtually pre-screening sustainable, manageable intercrop systems adapted to local conditions.
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Dates and versions

hal-04189857 , version 1 (29-08-2023)

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Rémi Vezy, Sebastian Munz, Noémie Gaudio, Marie Launay, Patrice Lecharpentier, et al.. Modeling soil-plant functioning of intercrops using comprehensive and generic formalisms implemented in the STICS model. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 2023, 43 (5), pp.61. ⟨10.1007/s13593-023-00917-5⟩. ⟨hal-04189857⟩
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