Aims Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient necessary for maintaining crop growth, however, it’s often used inefficiently within agroecosystems, driving industry to find new ways to deliver P to crops sustainably.We aim to combine traditional soil and crop measurements with climate-driven mathematical models, to give insight into optimising the timing and placement of fertiliser applications. Methods The whole plant crop model combines an above-ground leaf model with an existing spatially explicit below-ground root-soil model to estimate plant P uptake and above ground dry mass. We let P-dependent photosynthesis estimate carbon (C) mass, which in conjunction with temperature sets the root-growth-rate. Results The addition of the leaf model achieved a better estimate of two sets of barley field trial data for plant P uptake, compared with just the root-soil model alone. Furthermore, discrete fertiliser placement increases plant P uptake by up to 10 % in comparison to incorporating fertiliser. Conclusions By capturing essential plant processes we are able to accurately simulate P and C use and water and P movement during a cropping season. The powerful combination of mechanistic modelling and experimental data allows physiological processes to be quantified accurately and useful agricultural predictions for site specific locations to be made.
- Above and below ground
- Barley field study
- Fertiliser strategy
- Mathematical modelling
Heppell, J., Payvandi, S., Talboys, P., Zygalakis, KC., Langton, D., Sylvester-Bradley, R., Edwards, AC., Walker, RL., Withers, P., Jones, DL., & Roose, T. (2016). Use of a coupled soil-root-leaf model to optimise phosphate fertiliser use efficiency in barley. Plant and Soil, 406(1), 341 - 357. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-016-2883-4