• Open Access

A semimechanistic model predicting the growth and production of the bioenergy crop Miscanthus×giganteus: description, parameterization and validation

Authors

  • FERNANDO E. MIGUEZ,

    1. Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1102 S, Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801, USA,
    2. Energy Biosciences Institute, Institute for Genomic Biology, 1206 West Gregory Drive, MC-195, Urbana, IL 61801, USA,
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  • XINGUANG ZHU,

    1. Department of Plant Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1201 W, Gregory Drive, 379 Madigan Lab., Urbana, IL 61801, USA,
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    • 1Current address: Plant Systems Biology Group, CAS-MPG Partner Institute of Computational Biology, 342 Yue Yang Road, Shanghai 200031, China

  • STEPHEN HUMPHRIES,

    1. ADAS, Woodthorne Wergs Road, Wolverhampton WV6 8TQ, UK
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  • GERMÁN A. BOLLERO,

    1. Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1102 S, Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801, USA,
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  • STEPHEN P. LONG

    1. Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1102 S, Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801, USA,
    2. Energy Biosciences Institute, Institute for Genomic Biology, 1206 West Gregory Drive, MC-195, Urbana, IL 61801, USA,
    3. Department of Plant Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1201 W, Gregory Drive, 379 Madigan Lab., Urbana, IL 61801, USA,
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Fernando E. Miguez, Department of Crop Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 1102 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801, USA, e-mail: miguez@illinois.edu

Abstract

Biomass based bioenergy is promoted as a major sustainable energy source which can simultaneously decrease net greenhouse gas emissions. Miscanthus×giganteus (M.×giganteus), a C4 perennial grass with high nitrogen, water, and light use efficiencies, is regarded as a promising energy crop for biomass production. Mathematical models which can accurately predict M.×giganteus biomass production potential under different conditions are critical to evaluate the feasibility of its production in different environments. Although previous models based on light-conversion efficiency have been shown to provide good predictions of yield, they cannot easily be used in assessing the value of physiological trait improvement or ecosystem processes. Here, we described in detail the physical and physiological processes of a previously published generic mechanistic eco-physiological model, WIMOVAC, adapted and parameterized for M.×giganteus. Parameterized for one location in England, the model was able to realistically predict daily field diurnal photosynthesis and seasonal biomass at a range of other sites from European studies. The model provides a framework that will allow incorporation of further mechanistic information as it is developed for this new crop.

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