Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 549347
Title Current knowledge and future research opportunities for modeling annual crop mixtures. A review
Author(s) Gaudio, Noémie; Escobar-Gutiérrez, Abraham J.; Casadebaig, Pierre; Evers, Jochem B.; Gérard, Frédéric; Louarn, Gaëtan; Colbach, Nathalie; Munz, Sebastian; Launay, Marie; Marrou, Hélène; Barillot, Romain; Hinsinger, Philippe; Bergez, Jacques Eric; Combes, Didier; Durand, Jean Louis; Frak, Ela; Pagès, Loïc; Pradal, Christophe; Saint-Jean, Sébastien; Werf, Wopke van der; Justes, Eric
Source Agronomy for Sustainable Development 39 (2019)2. - ISSN 1774-0746
Department(s) PE&RC
Crop and Weed Ecology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) Annual crop mixtures - Crop models - Functional–structural plant models - Genotypes mixtures - Individual-based models - Intercrops - Model users

Growing mixtures of annual arable crop species or genotypes is a promising way to improve crop production without increasing agricultural inputs. To design optimal crop mixtures, choices of species, genotypes, sowing proportion, plant arrangement, and sowing date need to be made but field experiments alone are not sufficient to explore such a large range of factors. Crop modeling allows to study, understand, and ultimately design cropping systems and is an established method for sole crops. Recently, modeling started to be applied to annual crop mixtures as well. Here, we review to what extent crop simulation models and individual-based models are suitable to capture and predict the specificities of annual crop mixtures. We argued that (1) the crop mixture spatio-temporal heterogeneity (influencing the occurrence of ecological processes) determines the choice of the modeling approach (plant or crop centered). (2) Only few crop models (adapted from sole crop models) and individual-based models currently exist to simulate annual crop mixtures. Crop models are mainly used to address issues related to both crop mixtures management and the integration of crop mixtures into larger scales such as the rotation. In contrast, individual-based models are mainly used to identify plant traits involved in crop mixture performance and to quantify the relative contribution of the different ecological processes (niche complementarity, facilitation, competition, plasticity) to crop mixture functioning. This review highlights that modeling of annual crop mixtures is in its infancy and gives to model users some important keys to choose the model based on the questions they want to answer, with awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the modeling approaches.

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