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A universal agro-hydrological model for water and nitrogen cycles in the soil-crop system SMCR_N: critical update and further validation

Zhang, K., Greenwood, D. J., Spracklen, W. P., Rahn, C. R., Hammond, J. P. ORCID:, White, P. J. and Burns, I. G. (2010) A universal agro-hydrological model for water and nitrogen cycles in the soil-crop system SMCR_N: critical update and further validation. Agricultural Water Management, 97 (10). pp. 1411-1422. ISSN 0378-3774

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2010.03.007


Agro-hydrological models have widely been used for optimizing resources use and minimizing environmental consequences in agriculture. SMCRN is a recently developed sophisticated model which simulates crop response to nitrogen fertilizer for a wide range of crops, and the associated leaching of nitrate from arable soils. In this paper, we describe the improvements of this model by replacing the existing approximate hydrological cascade algorithm with a new simple and explicit algorithm for the basic soil water flow equation, which not only enhanced the model performance in hydrological simulation, but also was essential to extend the model application to the situations where the capillary flow is important. As a result, the updated SMCRN model could be used for more accurate study of water dynamics in the soil-crop system. The success of the model update was demonstrated by the simulated results that the updated model consistently out-performed the original model in drainage simulations and in predicting time course soil water content in different layers in the soil-wheat system. Tests of the updated SMCRN model against data from 4 field crop experiments showed that crop nitrogen offtakes and soil mineral nitrogen in the top 90 cm were in a good agreement with the measured values, indicating that the model could make more reliable predictions of nitrogen fate in the crop-soil system, and thus provides a useful platform to assess the impacts of nitrogen fertilizer on crop yield and nitrogen leaching from different production systems. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Food Security
Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Crop Science
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
ID Code:33887
Uncontrolled Keywords:Soil–crop system Modeling Water nitrogen transfer Agricultural management leaching

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