Coupling a Pest and Disease Damage Module with CSM-NWheat: A Wheat Crop Simulation Model
Wheat is one of the most important global staple crops and is affected by numerous pests and diseases. Depending on their intensity, pests and diseases can cause significant economic losses and even crop failures. Pest models can assist decision-making, thus helping reduce crop losses. Most wheat simulation models account for abiotic stresses such as drought and nutrients, but they do not account for biotic stresses caused by pests and diseases. Therefore, the objective of this study was to couple a dynamic pest and disease damage module to the DSSAT model CSM-NWheat. Coupling points were integrated into the CSM-NWheat model for applying daily damage to all plant components, including leaves, stems, roots, and grains, the entire plant, and to the assimilate supply. The coupled model was tested by simulating a wheat crop with virtual damage levels applied at each coupling point. Measured foliar damage caused by tan spot (Pyrenophora tritici-repentis) was also simulated. The modified model accurately estimated the reduction in leaf area growth and the yield loss when compared with observed data. With the incorporation of the pest module, CSM-NWheat can now predict the potential impact of pests and diseases on wheat growth and development, and ultimately economic yield.