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Open AccessArticle

Using a Crop Model to Benchmark Miscanthus and Switchgrass

INRAE, AgroParisTech, Paris-Saclay University, UMR ECOSYS, F-78850 Thiverval-Grignon, France
BioEcoAgro Joint Research Unit, INRAE, Université de Liège, Université de Lille, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, F-02000 Barenton-Bugny, France
Rothamsted Research, Harpenden AL5 2JQ, UK
ESA, INRAE, USC INRAE-1422 GRAPPE, F-49000, Université Bretagne Loire, Ecole Supérieure d’Agricultures (ESA)-SFR 4207 QUASAV, 55 rue Rabelais, 49007 Angers, France
INRAE, AgroParisTech, UMR Public Economy, F-78850 Thiverval-Grignon, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2020, 13(15), 3942;
Received: 21 June 2020 / Revised: 16 July 2020 / Accepted: 18 July 2020 / Published: 1 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Bio-Energy)
Crop yields are important items in the economic performance and the environmental impacts of second-generation biofuels. Since they strongly depend on crop management and pedoclimatic conditions, it is important to compare candidate feedstocks to select the most appropriate crops in a given context. Agro-ecosystem models offer a prime route to benchmark crops, but have been little tested from this perspective thus far. Here, we tested whether an agro-ecosystem model (CERES-EGC) was specific enough to capture the differences between miscanthus and switchgrass in northern Europe. The model was compared to field observations obtained in seven long-term trials in France and the UK, involving different fertilizer input rates and harvesting dates. At the calibration site (Estrées-Mons), the mean deviations between simulated and observed crop biomass yields for miscanthus varied between −0.3 t DM ha−1 and 4.2 t DM ha−1. For switchgrass, simulated yields were within 1.0 t DM ha−1 of the experimental data. Observed miscanthus yields were higher than switchgrass yields in most sites and for all treatments, with one exception. Overall, the model captured the differences between both crops adequately, with a mean deviation of 0.46 t DM ha−1, and could be used to guide feedstock selections over larger biomass supply areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: crop modeling; lignocellulosic species; second generation biofuels crop modeling; lignocellulosic species; second generation biofuels
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MDPI and ACS Style

El Akkari, M.; Ferchaud, F.; Strullu, L.; Shield, I.; Perrin, A.; Drouet, J.L.; Jayet, P.A.; Gabrielle, B. Using a Crop Model to Benchmark Miscanthus and Switchgrass. Energies 2020, 13, 3942.

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