Authors : Liu, Shouyang; Baret, Frederic; Andrieu, Bruno; Abichou, Mariem; Allard, Denis; de Solan, Benoit; Burger, Philippe
Abstract :

This work investigates the spatial distribution of wheat plants and its consequences on the canopy structure. A set of RGB images were taken from nadir on a total 14 plots showing a range of sowing densities, cultivars and environmental conditions. The coordinates of the plants were extracted from RGB images. Results show that the distance between-plants along the row follows a gamma distribution law, with no dependency between the distances. Conversely, the positions of the plants across rows follow a Gaussian distribution, with strongly interdependent. A statistical model was thus proposed to simulate the possible plant distribution pattern. Through coupling the statistical model with 3D Adel-Wheat model, the impact of the plant distribution pattern on canopy structure was evaluated using emerging properties such as the green fraction (GF) that drives the light interception efficiency. Simulations showed that the effects varied over different development stages but were generally small. For the intermediate development stages, large zenithal angles and directions parallel to the row, the deviations across the row of plant position increased the GF by more than 0.1. These results were obtained with a wheat functional-structural model that does not account for the capacity of plants to adapt to their local environment. Nevertheless, our work will extend the potential of functional-structural plant models to estimate the optimal distribution pattern for given conditions and subsequently guide the field management practices.