The derivation of sink functions of wheat organs using the GREENLAB model

Kang, M.Z.; Evers, J.B.; Vos, J.; Reffye, P. de


Background and Aims: In traditional crop growth models assimilate production and partitioning are described with empirical equations. In the GREENLAB functional┬┐structural model, however, allocation of carbon to different kinds of organs depends on the number and relative sink strengths of growing organs present in the crop architecture. The aim of this study is to generate sink functions of wheat (Triticum aestivum) organs by calibrating the GREENLAB model using a dedicated data set, consisting of time series on the mass of individual organs (the `target data┬┐). Methods: An experiment was conducted on spring wheat (Triticum aestivum, `Minaret┬┐), in a growth chamber from, 2004 to, 2005. Four harvests were made of six plants each to determine the size and mass of individual organs, including the root system, leaf blades, sheaths, internodes and ears of the main stem and different tillers. Leaf status (appearance, expansion, maturity and death) of these 24 plants was recorded. With the structures and mass of organs of four individual sample plants, the GREENLAB model was calibrated using a non-linear least-square-root fitting method, the aim of which was to minimize the difference in mass of the organs between measured data and model output, and to provide the parameter values of the model (the sink strengths of organs of each type, age and tiller order, and two empirical parameters linked to biomass production).