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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - DIVISION S-6-SOIL & WATER MANAGEMENT & CONSERVATION



This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 65 No. 2, p. 414-423
    Received: Jan 11, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): durr@laon.inra.fr
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  1. C. Dürr *,
  2. J.-N. Aubertot,
  3. G. Richard,
  4. P. Dubrulle,
  5. Y. Duval and
  6. J. Boiffin
  1. INRA, Unité d'Agronomie, rue Fernand Christ, 02007 Laon Cedex, France


A model predicting seedling emergence is described and applied to sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris L.). The input variables are the soil surface texture, soil temperature, rainfall, aggregate size distribution and position in the seedbed, sowing depths, characteristics of the seeds (initial seed mass distribution, germination time, and hypocotyl elongation distributions). A three-dimensional seedbed layer is created where the aggregates and seeds are placed. Soil water content is assumed not to limit sugarbeet emergence (sowing conditions in northern Europe). The time needed to reach the soil surface is calculated using germination thermal time, soil temperature, the presence or absence of aggregates, and the hypocotyl elongation function. The ability of seedlings to break through the soil surface is a function of crust development and moisture. The seedling growth after emergence is calculated with reference to seed mass distribution, emergence delay, and the presence or absence of mechanical obstacles. The emergence prediction was tested in field experiments with four seedbeds, from fine earth to cloddy structure, and a sowing depth of 17 to 35 mm. The predicted number and sizes of clods encountered by seedlings and the calculated hypocotyl length were not significantly different from measured ones. Predicted germination times were longer than the observed ones (differences <5°C d); final rates were well predicted. Predicted vs. measured final emergence rates differed by less than 10%; changes with time differed from 15 to 30°C. This was due to the hypocotyl elongation functions, which must be improved. Further improvements will be to predict soil water content variations and effects on emergence via water stress and soil strengthening.

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Copyright © 2001. Soil Science SocietyPublished in Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J.65:414–423.