Agro-environmental analysis and modelling

A.Y. 2017/2018
Overall hours
Learning objectives
Construction and operation of simulation models of cropping systems regarding both environmental and productive aspects.
Difference between empirical and mechanistic models; meaning of the simplification procedures introduced in all the models discussed.
Evaluation of simulation models.
Expected learning outcomes
Description and application of models for the simulation of agricultural crops potential production, of water balance and of nitrogen and carbon budget in soil-crop system. The student must know how to apply the models on already proposed problems and how to solve new ones.
Creation of simple models using a spreadsheet.
Ability to consider the effect of agricultural practices in the simulations and to understand their interaction with pedo-climate.
Calibrate and validate simulation models.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
1. Introduction: utility of models; systems theory; models classification; examples of models used in agriculture.

2. Simulation of crop development (thermal time, photoperiod, vernalization).

3. Simulation of crop growth (light interception, gross and net photosynthesis, respiration).

4. Simulation of water balance.

5. Simulation of soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics.

6. Integration of the simulation of all processes, to represent the entire cropping system (rotations, regional-scale evaluations), using the cropping systems simulation model CropSyst.

7. Calibration and evaluation of simulation models.
Teaching methods
Bibliografia di base
- Donatelli, M., 1995. Sistemi nella gestione integrata delle colture, Note dalle lezioni di G.Campbell e C. Stockle, disponibile su:

- Loomis, R.S., Connor, D.J., 1992. Crop ecology: productivity and management in agricultural systems. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp. 538 (disponibile presso la biblioteca centrale di agraria)

- Ceccon, P., Borin, M., 1995. Elementi di agrometeorologia e agroclimatologia. Imprimitur, Padova, pp. 450 (disponibile presso la biblioteca centrale di agraria).

- Appunti del corso

- Materiale reso disponibile dal docente nella sezione contenuti del portale ARIEL

- Articoli tratti da riviste internazionali suggeriti dal docente

Bibliografia consigliata per l'approfondimento degli argomenti trattati
- Campbell, G.S., 1985. Soil physics with Basic. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 150.
- Campbell, G.S., Norman, J.M., 1998. An introduction to environmental biophysics, Springer, New York, 286 pp.
AGR/02 - AGRONOMY AND FIELD CROPS - University credits: 6
Practicals: 32 hours
Lessons: 32 hours
Professor: Bechini Luca
By making an appointment.
In my office (Via Celoria 2, Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Ambientali - Agronomia, 1st floor above "Aula 1")