Comparison of SWAP and FAO Agro-Hydrological Models to Schedule Irrigation of Wine Grapes

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This paper compares two agro-hydrological models that are used to schedule irrigation of a typical Mediterranean crop. In particular, a comparison between the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) model, which uses a black box approach, and the soil-water-atmosphere-plant (SWAP) model, which is based on the numerical analysis of Richards' equation, are shown for wine grape. The comparison was carried out for the 2005 and 2006 irrigation seasons and focused on hydrological balance components and on soil water contents. Next, the ordinary scheduling parameters were identified so that the performance of the two models, which aimed to evaluate the seasonal water requirements and the irrigation times, could be assessed. In the validation phase, both of the models satisfactorily simulated the soil water content, and comparable values of cumulative evapotranspiration were obtained. With the goal of recognizing the crop water stress condition in the field, the original algorithm of the FAO model was modified. This research provided evidence of how the two agrohydrological models, although characterized by different approaches in modeling the phenomena, showed a similar behaviour when used for scheduling irrigation under soil water deficit conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-591
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

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