Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2018, 66, 225-233
Published online 2018-02-28

Is Crop Growth model Able to Reproduce Drought Stress Caused by Rain-Out Shelters Above Winter Wheat?

Markéta Wimmerová1,2, Petr Hlavinka1,2, Eva Pohanková1,2, Kurt Christian Kersebaum3, Miroslav Trnka1,2, Karel Klem1,2, Zdeněk Žalud1,2

1Global Change Research Institute CAS, v.v.i., Bělidla 986 / 4a, 603 00 Brno, Czech Republic
2Institute of Agrosystems and Bioclimatology, Faculty of AgriSciences, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
3Institute of Landscape Systems Analysis, Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Eberswalder Straße 84, 15374 Müncheberg, Germany

This study evaluates drought stress effect on winter wheat. Simultaneously, the ability of the HERMES crop growth model to reproduce the process correctly was tested. The field experiment was conducted at Domanínek station in 2014 and 2015, where mobile rain-out shelters were installed on plots of winter wheat (May 2015). Precipitation was reduced in three replications and the findings were compared with results from control plots with ambient precipitation. A precipitation reduction of 93 mm led to reduced growth and decrease in grain yields. The results of this study showed that the model was able to reproduce soil moisture content well and reproduce the drought stress for crop yields of winter wheat to a certain extent. When rain-out shelters were used, real winter wheat yields were reduced by 1.7 t/ha. The model underestimated the yields for the sheltered variant by 0.67 t/ha on average against observed yields and overestimated development of leaf area for both unsheltered and sheltered variants. This overestimation was partly explained by the effect of excluded UV radiation. The outcome of this paper may help to reduce uncertainty within simulated yields of winter wheat under extreme weather conditions through a better understanding of model behavior.


This article was written at Mendel University in Brno as a part of the project IGA AF MENDELU No. TP 7/2015 with the support of the Specific University Research Grant, provided by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic. Experimental work was supported by the National Grant Agency project No. QJ1310123 “Crop models as tools to improve production potential and food security” and by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of CR within the National Sustainability Program I (NPU I), grant number LO1415.


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