Crop water use under Swiss pedoclimatic conditions – Evaluation of lysimeter data covering a seven-year period

Oberholzer, Simon; Prasuhn, Volker; Hund, Andreas (2017). Crop water use under Swiss pedoclimatic conditions – Evaluation of lysimeter data covering a seven-year period. Field crops research, 211, pp. 48-65. Elsevier 10.1016/j.fcr.2017.06.003

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Due to climate change, agricultural production in Europe will be challenged by higher temperatures and shifts in precipitation distribution that will give rise to frequent summer droughts. An adaptation of agricultural systems to these changes requires detailed knowledge of crop water use characteristics. This study aimed to evaluate the dynamics of evapotranspiration and water uptake in different crops under the typical edaphoclimatic conditions of Switzerland. Seven years (2009–2015) of high resolution lysimeter mass data including 70 lysimeter-by-year combinations were evaluated. The “adaptive window and adaptive threshold “-filter (AWAT) was used to determine evapotranspiration (ET), precipitation (P), crop coefficient (Kc) and water use efficiency (WUE). Additionally, FDR sensors installed in the lysimeter soil core allowed recording the temporal dynamic of soil water extraction. The evaluation comprised grain maize, silage maize, rapeseed, sugar beets, winter barley, winter wheat and temporary ley. The AWAT filter was successfully used to determine lysimeter P that was inserted in the lysimeter water balance equation to calculate daily ET. It could be shown that the peak of daily crop coefficient coincided with the time of flowering for all flowering arable crops. WUE’s lay in the range given by standard literature, but daily crop coefficients were clearly higher than proposed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) which is partially due to an oasis and border effect of the lysimeters. Years with limited water availability were characterized by a comparably low Kc. For example, rapeseed in 2011 and maize in 2015 showed substantially lower Kc values. In accordance with the reduced Kc, readily available water was totally removed down to soil depth of at minimum 0.85 m. The limited water availability led to significantly lower yields only in case of silage maize in 2015. These results show overall current water supply to be sufficient under Swiss conditions; however, if drought events like in 2015 become more frequent and even more intense, yield potential of typical Swiss arable crops will be limited by water availability.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Oberholzer, Simon Raphael

Subjects:

900 History > 910 Geography & travel
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

0378-4290

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Simon Raphael Oberholzer

Date Deposited:

09 Oct 2019 15:25

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2019 01:33

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.fcr.2017.06.003

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.133659

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/133659

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