Modelling varietal differences in response to phosphorus in West African sorghum

Adam, M and Dzotsi, K A and Hoogenboom, G and Traore, P C S and Porter, C H and Rattunde, H F W and Nebie, B and Leiser, W L and Weltzien, E and Jones, J W (2018) Modelling varietal differences in response to phosphorus in West African sorghum. European Journal of Agronomy (TSI). pp. 1-9. ISSN 11610301 (In Press)

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In West Africa’s highly weathered soils, plant-available soil-P levels determine sorghum performance and yield to a far greater extent than projected variability in climate. Despite local landrace varieties having excellent adaptation to the environment and a relatively stable yield, sorghum grain yield remains quite low, averaging less than 1 t ha−1. Low P availability in West African soils has significant effects on crop development and growth with potential grain yield losses of more than 50%. Use of mechanistic models, which integrate physiological processes, could assist with understanding the differences in P-uptake among varieties and guide effective P management. Yet only few crop models include a soil-plant P model for simulating crop yield response to P management. A generic soil-plant P module was developed for crop models in the Cropping System Model (CSM) of the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) but the module was adapted and tested only on two crops, groundnut and maize. The aim of the study was to adapt the soil-plant P module for sorghum and perform initial testing on highly weathered soils in West Africa. Data used in adapting and testing the soil-plant P model for sorghum consisted of in-season P concentrations and dry weights of stems, leaves and grain from four sorghum varieties covering a range of maturities and photoperiod sensitivities and grown in high-P and P-deficient soils at ICRISAT-Mali. Results showed that the coupled CERES-Sorghum − P module reasonably reproduced the vegetative and grain yield reductions experienced in the field experiments with an average RMSE of 1561 and 909 kg ha−1 under high P conditions and 1168 and 466 kg ha−1 under low P conditions, respectively. The simulations are in most cases within the observation error. We also confirmed that contrasting variety types differ in their P-uptake dynamics relative to above-ground growth change over time, and hence respond differently to available P.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : West & Central Africa
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems
Uncontrolled Keywords: Soil-plant P model, Sorghum, Plant P-concentration, DSSAT, West african sudanian zone, CSM-CERES Sorghum, Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT), Cropping System Model (CSM)
Subjects: Others > Soil Fertility
Others > Soil
Mandate crops > Sorghum
Others > West Africa
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2018 09:14
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2018 09:14
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: Funding for this research was provided by the DSSAT Foundation and the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems. We are particularly grateful to Akinseye Folorunso, Tjibayiry Sanogo and the ICRISAT-Mali sorghum team for data collection. Thanks also to the guest editors for their detailed comments that helped us to improve the manuscript.
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