Quantifying critical N dilution curves across G × E × M effects for potato using a partially-pooled Bayesian hierarchical method

Brian J Bohman, Michael J. Culshaw-Maurer, Feriel Ben Abdallah, Claudia Giletto, Gilles Bélanger, Fabián G. Fernández, Yuxin Miao, David J. Mulla, Carl J. Rosen

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1 Scopus citations


Multiple critical N dilution curves [CNDCs] have been previously developed for potato; however, attempts to directly compare differences in CNDCs across genotype [G], environment [E], and management [M] interactions have been confounded by non-uniform statistical methods, biased experimental data, and lack of proper quantification of uncertainty in the critical N concentration [%Nc]. This study implements a partially-pooled Bayesian hierarchical method to develop CNDCs for previously published and newly reported experimental data, systematically evaluates the difference in %Nc [∆%Nc] across G × E × M effects, and directly compare CNDCs from the Bayesian framework to CNDCs from conventional statistical methods. The partially-pooled Bayesian hierarchical method implemented in this study has the advantage of being less susceptible to inferential bias at the level of individual G × E × M interactions compared to alternative statistical methods that result from insufficient quantity and quality of experimental datasets (e.g., unbalanced distribution of N limiting and non-N limiting observations). This method also allows for a direct statistical comparison of differences in %Nc across levels of the G × E × M interactions. Where found to be significant, ∆%Nc was hypothesized to be related to variation in the timing of tuber initiation (e.g., maturity class) and the relative rate of tuber bulking (e.g., planting density) across G x E × M interactions. In addition to using the median value for %Nc (i.e., CNDC), the lower and upper boundary values for the credible region (i.e., CNDClo and CNDCup) derived using the Bayesian framework should be used in calculation of N nutrition index (and other calculations) to account for uncertainty in %Nc. Overall, this study provides additional evidence that%Nc is dependent upon G × E × M interactions; therefore, evaluation of crop N status or N use efficiency must account for variation in %Nc across G × E × M interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number126744
JournalEuropean Journal of Agronomy
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research funding for this project was provided by Minnesota Area II Potato Growers Research and Promotion Council .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Bayesian
  • Critical N concentration
  • Critical nitrogen dilution curve
  • Genotype-by-environment-by-management interactions
  • Nitrogen nutrition index
  • Nitrogen use efficiency
  • Potato


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