A two-dimensional simulation model of phosphorus uptake including crop growth and P-response

A. Mollier, P. de Willigen, M. Heinen, C. Morel, A. Schneider, S. Pellerin

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40 Citations (Scopus)


Modelling nutrient uptake by crops implies considering and integrating the processes controlling the soil nutrient supply, the uptake by the root system and relationships between the crop growth response and the amount of nutrient absorbed. We developed a model that integrates both dynamics of maize growth and phosphorus (P) uptake. The crop part of the model was derived from Monteith's model. A complete regulation of P-uptake by the roots according to crop P-demand and soil P-supply was assumed. The soil P-supply to the roots was calculated using a diffusion equation and assuming that roots behave as zero-sinks. The actual P-uptake and crop growth were calculated at each time step by comparing phosphate and carbohydrate supply¿demand ratios. Model calculations for P-uptake and crop growth were compared to field measurements on a long term P-fertilization trial. Three P-fertilization regimes (no P-fertilization, 42.8 kg P ha¿1 year¿1 and 94.3 kg P ha¿1 year¿1) have led to a range of P-supply. Our model correctly simulated both the crop development and growth for all P-treatments. P-uptake was correctly predicted for the two non-limiting P-treatments. Nevertheless, for the limiting P-treatment, P-uptake was correctly predicted during the early period of growth but it was underestimated at the last sampling date (61 day after sowing). Several arguments for under-prediction were considered. However, most of them cannot explain the observed magnitude in discrepancy. The most likely reason might be the fact that biomass allocation between shoot and root must be modelled more precisely. Despite this mismatch, the model appears to provide realistic simulations of the soil¿plant dynamic of P in field conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-464
JournalEcological Modelling
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • radiation-use efficiency
  • plant nutrient-uptake
  • leaf-area expansion
  • maize field crops
  • root-system
  • biomass accumulation
  • mechanistic model
  • phosphate-uptake
  • solute uptake
  • mass-flow


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