Physical robustness of canopy temperature models for crop heat stress simulation across environments and production conditions

Heidi Webber, Jeffrey W. White, Bruce A. Kimball, Frank Ewert, Senthold Asseng, Ehsan Eyshi Rezaei, Paul J. Pinter, Jerry L. Hatfield, Matthew P. Reynolds, Behnam Ababaei, Marco Bindi, Jordi Doltra, Roberto Ferrise, Henning Kage, Belay T. Kassie, Kurt Christian Kersebaum, Adam Luig, Jørgen E. Olesen, Mikhail A. Semenov, Pierre StratonovitchArne M. Ratjen, Robert L. LaMorte, Steven W. Leavitt, Douglas J. Hunsaker, Gerard W. Wall, Pierre Martre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Despite widespread application in studying climate change impacts, most crop models ignore complex interactions among air temperature, crop and soil water status, CO2 concentration and atmospheric conditions that influence crop canopy temperature. The current study extended previous studies by evaluating Tc simulations from nine crop models at six locations across environmental and production conditions. Each crop model implemented one of an empirical (EMP), an energy balance assuming neutral stability (EBN) or an energy balance correcting for atmospheric stability conditions (EBSC) approach to simulate Tc. Model performance in predicting Tc was evaluated for two experiments in continental North America with various water, nitrogen and CO2 treatments. An empirical model fit to one dataset had the best performance, followed by the EBSC models. Stability conditions explained much of the differences between modeling approaches. More accurate simulation of heat stress will likely require use of energy balance approaches that consider atmospheric stability conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-88
Number of pages14
JournalField Crops Research
StatePublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Canopy temperature
  • Climate change impact assessments
  • Crop model improvement
  • Heat and drought interactions
  • Heat stress
  • Wheat


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