Spatially explicit modelling of transgenic maize pollen dispersal and cross-pollination
Modelling of pollen dispersal and cross-pollination is of great importance for the ongoing discussion on thresholds for the adventitious presence of genetically modified material in food and feed. Two different modelling approaches for pollen dispersal are used to simulate the cross-pollination rate of pollen emerged from an adjacent transgenic crop field. The models are applied to crosspollination data from field experiments with transgenic maize (Zea mays). The data were generated by an experimental setup specifically designed to suit the demands of mathematical modelling. First a Gaussian plume model is used for the simulation of pollen transport in and from plant canopies. This is a semiempirical approach combining the atmospheric diffusion equation and Lagrangian methodology. The second model is derived from the localised near field (LNF) theory and based on the physical processes in the canopy. Both modelling approaches prove to be appropriate for the simulation of the cross-pollination rates at distances of about 7.5 m and more from the transgene source. The simulation of the cross-pollination rate is less precise at the edge of the source plot especially with the LNF theory. However, the simulation results lie within the range of variability of the observations. Concluding can be pointed out that both models might be adapted to other pollen dispersal experiments of different crops and plot sizes.