Vol. 6, No. 12, p. 203-221 - Apr. 30, 2019
Assessing AquaCrop model to simulate soil water contents under semi arid climate of Central Tunisia
Hiba Ghazouani , Basma Latrech , Mguidich Belhaj Amel , Cherni Amani , Boutheina M'hamdi Douh , Ghazouani Issam and Abdelhamid Boujelben
The objective of the present study was to preliminary calibrate and validate AquaCrop model based on crop conservative parameters from the literature for plant growth and water stress thresholds. In addition, physical soil characteristics, root growth, duration of plant stages and atmospheric demands were introduced according to field measurements. Based on this preliminary calibration, simulated water contents were compared to a measured data set of water contents retrieved from deficit and full irrigation treatments on a potato cropped field during an experimental year of 2015. Statistical indexes were computed and finally this performance in simulating water contents were validated under independent measurements carried out during an experiments campaign on the same field on 2014. Moreover, the paper presents the experimental protocol followed for soil characterization, considered as a milestone component for this soil water contents prediction. Results showed, that under the followed preliminary calibration, the model was able to simulate water contents (Ɵv). In general, values of Root Mean Square Error were lower than 0.03 cm3.cm-3 representing the magnitude of error of the time domain reflectometry probe. Moreover values of Nash coffecients were close to 1 confirming the goodness of fit between measured and estimated water contents. Once assessed, the model could be used to study effects of different irrigation strategies on dynamic of water contents aiming to increase water use efficiency.
Full irrigation; Deficit irrigation; Calibration; Water contents; Validation.
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