Use of identifiability analysis in designing phenotyping experiments for modelling forage production and quality

Tom De Swaef, Gianni Bellocchi, Jonas Aper, Peter Lootens, Isabel Roldan-Ruiz

    Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikelpeer review


    Agricultural systems models are complex and tend to be over-parameterized with respect to observational datasets. Practical identifiability analysis based on local sensitivity analysis has proved effective in investigating identifiable parameter sets in environmental models, but has not been applied to agricultural systems models. Here, we demonstrate that identifiability analysis improves experimental design to ensure independent parameter estimation for yield and quality outputs of a complex grassland model. The Pasture Simulation model (PaSim) was used to demonstrate the effectiveness of practical identifiability analysis in designing experiments and measurement protocols within phenotyping experiments with perennial ryegrass. Virtual experiments were designed combining three factors: frequency of measurements, duration of the experiment. and location of trials. Our results demonstrate that (i) PaSim provides sufficient detail in terms of simulating biomass yield and quality of perennial ryegrass for use in breeding, (ii) typical breeding trials are insufficient to parameterize all influential parameters, (iii) the frequency of measurements is more important than the number of growing seasons to improve the identifiability of PaSim parameters, and (iv) identifiability analysis provides a sound approach for optimizing the design of multi-location trials. Practical identifiability analysis can play an important role in ensuring proper exploitation of phenotypic data and cost-effective multi-location experimental designs. Considering the growing importance of simulation models, this study supports the design of experiments and measurement protocols in the phenotyping networks that have recently been organized.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    TijdschriftJournal of Experimental Botany
    Pagina's (van-tot)2587-2604
    Aantal pagina’s18
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 15-apr-2019

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