Journal Article

Modelling Wheat Growth and Yield Losses from Late Epidemics of Foliar Diseases using Loss of Green Leaf Area per Layer and Pre-anthesis Reserves

Marie-Odile Bancal, Corinne Robert and Bertrand Ney

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 100, issue 4, pages 777-789
Published in print October 2007 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online August 2007 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcm163
Modelling Wheat Growth and Yield Losses from Late Epidemics of Foliar Diseases using Loss of Green Leaf Area per Layer and Pre-anthesis Reserves

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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Background and Aims

Crop protection strategies, based on preventing quantitative crop losses rather than pest outbreaks, are being developed as a promising way to reduce fungicide use. The Bastiaans' model was applied to winter wheat crops (Triticum aestivum) affected by leaf rust (Puccinia triticina) and Septoria tritici blotch (STB; Mycosphaerella graminicola) under a range of crop management conditions. This study examined (a) whether green leaf area per layer accurately accounts for growth loss; and (b) whether from growth loss it is possible to derive yield loss accurately and simply.

Methods

Over 5 years of field experiments, numerous green leaf area dynamics were analysed during the post-anthesis period on wheat crops using natural aerial epidemics of leaf rust and STB.

Key Results

When radiation use efficiency (RUE) was derived from bulk green leaf area index (GLAI), RUEbulk was hardly accurate and exhibited large variations among diseased wheat crops, thus extending outside the biological range. In contrast, when RUE was derived from GLAI loss per layer, RUElayer was a more accurate calculation and fell within the biological range. In one situation out of 13, no significant shift in the RUElayer of diseased crops vs. healthy crops was observed. A single linear relationship linked yield to post-anthesis accumulated growth for all treatments. Its slope, not different from 1, suggests that the allocation of post-anthesis photosynthates to grains was not affected by the late occurring diseases under study. The mobilization of pre-anthesis reserves completely accounted for the intercept value.

Conclusions

The results strongly suggest that a simple model based on green leaf area per layer and pre-anthesis reserves can predict both growth and yield of wheat suffering from late epidemics of foliar diseases over a range of crop practices. It could help in better understanding how crop structure and reserve management contribute to tolerance of wheat genotypes to leaf diseases.

Keywords: Triticum aestivum; Puccinia triticina; Mycosphaerella graminicola; leaf rust; Septoria tritici blotch; growth loss; yield loss; green leaf area per layer; pre-anthesis reserves

Journal Article.  9622 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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