Calibration and Evaluation of the STICS Intercrop Model for Two Cereal-Legume Mixtures - Session II: Crop modelling for ecological intensification Access content directly
Conference Poster Year : 2020

Calibration and Evaluation of the STICS Intercrop Model for Two Cereal-Legume Mixtures


Introduction STICS is a soil-crop model capable of simulating crops in succession (Brisson et al., 2003). Intercropping occurs when multiple species are grown simultaneously on the same field. There has been a growing interest in adapting this traditional technique for modern agriculture as a way of ecological intensification, especially for combining leguminous and cereal crops in order to reduce N inputs and potential environmental damage through N losses. Intercropping adds complexity to the system by adding inter-species competition. Crop models are useful tools for analyzing complex systems, as they allow the user far more control over individual variables than is possible in field experiments. A first version of the STICS intercrop model was created by Brisson et al. (2004) and was recently improved by Vezy et al. (2020). The aim of this study was to calibrate and evaluate this improved STICS-Intercrop model by simulating a winter and a spring intercrop mixture: durum wheat-winter pea and barley-spring pea. Materials and Methods: The data set used for modelling comprised of four years of wheat (Triticum turgidum L.) and pea (Pisum sativum L.) field data from Auzeville, France with multiple levels of nitrogen fertilizer, and four years of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and pea field data from Angers, France (Corre-Hellou, 2005), which in some years included two levels of nitrogen fertilizer and two different plant densities of the intercrops. The sole crop trials were used for calibration and the intercrop trials for evaluation, except for a subset of intercrop data that was used to calibrate the parameters unique to the intercrop model. The assumption was that parameters common to both sole and intercropping, such as plant-soil interactions and phenology, would be the same for both. The optimization method used for calibration was based on Wallach et al. (2011). The parameters were broken down into 15 groups (16 for pea including nitrogen fixation) for calibration, each corresponding to a different process. Results and Discussion: The model calibration process is still ongoing. The root mean square error (RMSE) for shoot biomass was 1.92 t/ha for winter pea and 1.37 t/ha for durum wheat. The RMSE for grain yield was 1.84 t/ha for spring pea and 1.15 t/ha for barley. Overall the model captured the dominancy of one species quite well, however the accuracy has to be increased. The phenology and height were correctly simulated. Some of the discrepancies could be due to biological stresses that STICS does not capture. Some parameters for the pea-wheat model have not been calibrated yet, so the RMSE is likely to improve. Conclusions: Intercrop systems are difficult to model in comparison to sole crops due to their complex interactions, but the STICS model, after having completed the calibration, could be a useful tool for better understanding the biological functions of this management practice.
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hal-02791381 , version 1 (05-06-2020)


  • HAL Id : hal-02791381 , version 1
  • PRODINRA : 493114


Kirsten Paff, Sebastian Munz, Rémi Vezy, Noémie Gaudio, Laurent Bedoussac, et al.. Calibration and Evaluation of the STICS Intercrop Model for Two Cereal-Legume Mixtures. 2. International Crop Modelling Symposium (iCROPM2020), Feb 2020, Montpellier, France. , 1 p., 2020. ⟨hal-02791381⟩
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