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Species‐genotypic parameters of the CROPGRO Perennial Forage Model: Implications for comparison of three tropical pasture grasses

Pequeno, D. N. L., Pedreira, C. G. S., Boote, K. J., Alderman, P. D., Faria, A. F. G.
Grass and forage science 2018 v.73 no.2 pp. 440-455
Brachiaria, Cynodon dactylon, computer simulation, field experimentation, forage, genetic improvement, grasses, leaf area index, leaves, nitrogen content, pasture plants, photosynthesis, plant organs, simulation models, tropical pastures
Brachiaria and Cynodon are two of the most important pasture grasses worldwide. Computer model simulations can be used to study pasture species growth and physiological aspects to identify gaps of knowledge for genetic improvement and management strategies. The objective of this research was to compare the performance relative to calibrated parameters of the CROPGRO‐Perennial Forage Model (CROPGRO‐PFM) for simulating three different species (“Marandu” palisadegrass, “Convert HD 364®” brachiariagrass and “Tifton 85” bermudagrass) grown under similar management. The field experiment consisted of two harvest frequencies, 28 and 42 days, under irrigated and rainfed conditions. Data used to calibrate the model included regular forage harvests, plant‐part composition, leaf photosynthesis, leaf area index, light interception and plant nitrogen concentration. The simulation of biomass production of the three grasses presented d‐statistic values higher than 0.80, RMSE ranging from 313 to 619 kg/ha and ratio observed/simulated ranging 0.968 to 1.027. Harvest frequency treatments of 28 and 42 days were well simulated by the model. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to evaluate the most influential parameters needed for model calibration and to contrast the grasses, showing that the differences among the three grasses are mostly driven by plant‐part composition and assimilate partitioning among plant organs.