Netherlands Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 97, Issue 1, pp 25–54 | Cite as

Simulation of damage in winter wheat caused by the grain aphid Sitobion avenae. 2. Construction and evaluation of a simulation model

  • W. A. H. Rossing


To evaluate the relative importance of various components of damage caused by grain aphid (Sitobion avenae F.) populations in winter wheat, a simulation model of crop growth and development is combined with a model of aphid injury. The model applies to the time interval from flowering to ripeness which constitutes the main period of grain aphid immigration and development in winter wheat in the Netherlands. The crop model describes crop growth and development as a function of the prevailing weather and the available amount of soil nitrogen and consists of sink-source relations and distribution functions for carbohydrates and nitrogen. Injury byS. avenae affects crop growth both directly and indirectly. Direct effects on growth are due to aphid feeding. Indirect effects are caused by the aphid excretion product honeydew which affects leaf net carbon dioxide assimilation. Alternative hypotheses on the nature of the direct effects are formulated. Inputs to the model are average daily temperature, daily global radiation, the amount of nitrogen in the soil and the density of the aphid population. The major output is grain weight.

The accuracy of the model is assessed by visual and statistical comparison to field data. The accuracy of both crop and damage model is satisfactory except for the final part of the growing season. Then, insufficient information on processes involved in leaf death and the termination of phloem transport to the grains results in overestimation of the rate of grain filling.

The consequences of the lack of detailed information on the relation between environmental factors and the effect of honeydew on leaf carbon dioxide assimilation are assessed in a sensitivity analysis.

Additional keywords

photosynthesis carbon dioxide assimilation sink-source relations honeydew validation sensitivity analysis 


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Planteziektenkundige Vereniging 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. A. H. Rossing
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Theoretical Production EcologyWageningen Agricultural UniversityWageningenthe Netherlands

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