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.
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 soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics. 5. Integration of the simulation of all processes, to represent the entire cropping system (rotations, regional-scale evaluations), using a cropping systems simulation model. 6. Calibration and evaluation of simulation models.
a) Donatelli, M., 1995. Sistemi nella gestione integrata delle colture, Note dalle lezioni di G.Campbell e C. Stockle, available at: http://www.sipeaa.it/mdon/references/books/books_online.htm b) Loomis, R.S., Connor, D.J., 1992. Crop ecology: productivity and management in agricultural systems. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp. 538; c) Ceccon, P., Borin, M., 1995. Elementi di agrometeorologia e agroclimatologia. Imprimitur, Padova, pp. 450; d) Lecture notes; e) ARIEL Web site; f) papers provided by the teacher. Other books: g) Campbell, G.S., 1985. Soil physics with Basic. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 150. h) Campbell, G.S., Norman, J.M., 1998. An introduction to environmental biophysics, Springer, New York, 286 pp.