Sensitivity analyses for improving sulfur management strategies in winter oilseed rape

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 13, Issue 9)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 8,880 words
Lexile Measure: 1620L

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Abstract :

Because sulfur (S) depletion in soil results in seed yield losses and grain quality degradation, especially in high S-demanding crops such as oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.), monitoring S fertilisation has become a central issue. Crop models can be efficient tools to conduct virtual experiments under different fertilisation management strategies. Using the process-based model SuMoToRI, we aimed to analyse the impact of different S fertilisation strategies coupled with the variablility observed in major plant characteristics in oilseed rape i.e. radiation use efficiency (RUE), carbon (C) allocation to the leaves ([beta]) and specific leaf area (SLA) on plant performance-driven variables encompassing total biomass (TDW), S in the photosynthetic leaves (QS.sub.mobile.GL) and leaf area index (LAI.sub.GL). The contrasting S supply conditions differed in the amount of S (5 levels), and the timing of application (at bolting and/or at flowering, which included a fractioned condition). For this purpose, we performed a global sensitivity analysis (GSA) and calculated two sensitivity indices i.e. the Partial Raw Correlation Coefficient (PRCC) and the Sobol index. The results showed that whatever the timing of S supply, TDW, LAI.sub.GL and QS.sub.mobile.GL increased as S input increased. For a given S supply, there was no difference in TDW, LAI.sub.GL and QS.sub.mobile.GL between a single and a fractioned supply. Moreover, delaying the supply until flowering reduced the TDW and LAI.sub.GL whereas QS.sub.mobile.GL increased. Results showed that RUE had the greatest impact on TDW under all levels of S supply and all application timings, followed by [beta] and SLA. RUE mostly impacted on QS.sub.mobile.GL, depending on S supply conditions, whereas it was the parameter with the least impact on LAI.sub.GL . Ultimately, our results provide strong evidence of optimised S fertilisation timings and plant characteristics that will guide producers in their agricultural practices by using specific varieties under constrained S fertilisation strategies.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A560248560