Simulating growth, development, and yield of tillering pearl millet: II. Simulation of canopy development uri icon

abstract

  • Tillering is an important adaptive feature of pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum (Pennisetum glaucum)) to the unpredictable growing conditions of dry areas of the semiarid tropics. Yet, this feature has largely been ignored in the development of simulation models for pearl millet. The objective of this paper is to parameterize and validate a leaf area module for pearl millet, which dynamically simulates crop leaf area from the leaf area of individual axes through simulating inter-axis competition for light. To derive parameters for the model, four cultivars (BJ 104, WRajPop, HHB 67 and RCB-IC 911), contrasting in phenology and tillering habit, were grown under well-watered and well-fertilized conditions across a range of plant densities in three experiments at two locations in India (Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh and Jodhpur, Rajasthan) during 1996 and 1997. For selected plants, observations on the number of primary basal tillers and on the number of visible, fully expanded, and senesced leaves on each axis were made twice a week throughout the growing season. Occurrence of panicle initiation (PI) was observed in two experiments only, but data were complemented by published and unpublished data, obtained for comparable cultivars. Parameters were obtained for the time from emergence to PI as a function of daylength, leaf initiation rate, ate of leaf and tiller appearance, and the leaf senescence rate. Parameters for leaf size were determined in a previous paper. Our parameter estimates compared well with published data and were, with the exception of time to PI and leaf size, mostly independent of cultivar, axis and density. Genotypic effects on productive tiller number could be attributed to differences in main shoot leaf size. Validation of the leaf are module showed that the module adequately reproduced the effects of density, photoperiod and genotype on the leaf area of individual axes and on productive tiller number. This was despite the fact that the reduction in leaf area of non-productive tillers was achieved in the module through a reduction in leaf size, whereas the crop reduced leaf area through a reduction in leaf number. Our results indicate that leaf area index (LAI) of a tillering crop can be simulated adequately by simulating LAI from individual leaf area and incorporating the effects of competition for light

publication date

  • 2001
  • 2001