Triticale often out-yields wheat in both favourable and unfavourable growing conditions. Observed traits suggested for the higher yields in triticale include greater early vigour, a longer spike formation phase with same duration to flowering, reduced tillering, increased remobilization of carbohydrates to the grain, early vigorous root growth and higher transpiration use efficiency. To quantify the impact of these traits systematically across seasons and contrasting rainfall regions and soil types, these triticale traits were introduced into a wheat model (APSIM-Nwheat). The impact of each individual trait and their full combination was analysed in a simulation experiment for three Mediterranean growing environments, two contrasting soil types and long-term historical weather data. The simulated impact of these traits was compared with measured impacts from a range of field experiments across several environments. Simulated responses of various crop characteristics including yield, were in general similar to responses observed in wheat-triticale comparison field experiments across a large range of growing conditions. The simulation analysis indicated that the yield response to the incorporation of the triticale traits into wheat was positive, in both low and high yielding growing conditions, similar to measured differences, but the simulated benefit was on average lower than the range observed in data of triticale and wheat. This suggests that other traits might also be involved in higher-yielding triticale, or the magnitude of some of the traits may be underestimated in field experiments due to ‘trait by environment’ interactions. The simulation results suggest the highest yield benefit can be achieved from increasing transpiration use efficiency in wheat, but early vigour, remobilization of stem carbohydrates and early root growth also contribute positively to a yield increase in the different growing environments. The yield benefits from the triticale traits increased in the future climate change scenario in particular on soils with high water-holding capacity from contributions of increased early vigour, remobilization of stem carbohydrates and transpiration use efficiency, and remained stable on the lighter soils
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