An evaluation of four crop:weed competition models using a common data set

W. Deen, R. Cousens, J. Warringa, L. Bastiaans, P. Carberry, K. Rebel, S. Riha, C. Murphy, L.R. Benjamin, C. Cloughley, J. Cussans, F. Forcella

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59 Citations (Scopus)


To date, several crop : weed competition models have been developed. Developers of the various models were invited to compare model performance using a common data set. The data set consisted of wheat and Lolium rigidum grown in monoculture and mixtures under dryland and irrigated conditions. Results from four crop : weed competition models are presented: almanac, apsim, cropsim and intercom. For all models, deviations between observed and predicted values for monoculture wheat were only slightly lower than for wheat grown in competition with L. rigidum , even though the workshop participants had access to monoculture data while parameterizing models. Much of the error in simulating competition outcome was associated with difficulties in accurately simulating growth of individual species. Relatively simple competition algorithms were capable of accounting for the majority of the competition response. Increasing model complexity did not appear to dramatically improve model accuracy. Comparison of specific competition processes, such as radiation interception, was very difficult since the effects of these processes within each model could not be isolated. Algorithms for competition processes need to be modularised in such a way that exchange, evaluation and comparison across models is facilitated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-129
JournalWeed Research
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • multispecies canopy model
  • abutilon-theophrasti
  • plant competition
  • winter-wheat
  • wild oat
  • simulation
  • growth
  • radiation
  • light
  • photosynthesis


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