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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Phenology, Water, Temperature, and Simulation: Some Thoughts Du Jour

Author
item McMaster, Gregory

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 30, 2006
Publication Date: April 30, 2006
Citation: Mcmaster, G.S. 2006. Phenology, water, temperature, and simulation: some thoughts du jour. Meeting Abstract. Biological Systems Simulation Conference. Fort Collins, CO. April 11-13,2006.

Interpretive Summary: Simulating crop production, particularly in the semi-arid Great Plains, must address the ever-present reality of greatly fluctuating environments. Of critical importance is the spatial and temporal variation in water and temperature and their interaction. Getting phenological responses to water and temperature “right” is arguably the foundation for accurate simulation of crop production. Much work has resulted in understanding the phenology of major economic crop species, with staggering recent advances in basic understanding coming from molecular biology. The question is, “How well has our knowledge been captured in our crop simulation models?” This paper gives a brief overview to answer this question, and provides a structured approach for improving our simulation of phenology and responses to stresses, particularly water limiting conditions. The starting point is to determine the genetic blueprint for how a crop develops under non-limiting conditions, which is aided greatly by the fact that development is orderly and predictable. General templates have been developed for a variety of crops (e.g., wheat, barley, maize, sorghum, several millets). Next, determining the qualitative responses to abiotic factors for each developmental event is required. After the qualitative response is determined, quantifying the response is needed. General responses have been developed for a variety of crops (e.g., wheat, barley, maize, sorghum, several millets) and incorporated into a computer program (Phenology MMS) for simulating phenology under varying levels of water and different temperatures.

Technical Abstract: Simulating crop production, particularly in the semi-arid Great Plains, must address the ever-present reality of greatly fluctuating environments. Of critical importance is the spatial and temporal variation in water and temperature and their interaction. Getting phenological responses to water and temperature “right” is arguably the foundation for accurate simulation of crop production. Much work has resulted in understanding the phenology of major economic crop species, with staggering recent advances in basic understanding coming from molecular biology. The question is, “How well has our knowledge been captured in our crop simulation models?” This paper gives a brief overview to answer this question, and provides a structured approach for improving our simulation of phenology and responses to stresses, particularly water limiting conditions. The starting point is to determine the genetic blueprint for how a crop develops under non-limiting conditions, which is aided greatly by the fact that development is orderly and predictable. General templates have been developed for a variety of crops (e.g., wheat, barley, maize, sorghum, several millets). Next, determining the qualitative responses to abiotic factors for each developmental event is required. After the qualitative response is determined, quantifying the response is needed. General responses have been developed for a variety of crops (e.g., wheat, barley, maize, sorghum, several millets) and incorporated into a computer program (Phenology MMS) for simulating phenology under varying levels of water and different temperatures.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014