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Gewählte Publikation:

Bodner, G., W. Loiskandl, H.-P. Kaul.
(2007): Cover crop evapotranspiration under semi-arid conditions using FAO dual crop coefficient method with water stress compensation
AGR WATER MANAGE, 93, 85-98; ISSN 0378-3774 FullText FullText_BOKU

Cover cropping is a common agro-environmental tool for soil and groundwater protection. In water limited environments, knowledge about additional water extraction by cover crop plants compared to a bare soil is required for a sustainable management strategy. Estimates obtained by the FAO dual crop coefficient method, compared to water balance-based data of actual evapotranspiration, were used to assess the risk of soil water depletion by four cover crop species (phacelia, hairy vetch, rye, mustard) compared to a fallow control. A water stress compensation function was developed for this model to account for additional water uptake from deeper soil layers under dry conditions. The average deviation of modelled cumulative evapotranspiration from the measured values was 1.4% under wet conditions in 2004 and 6.7% under dry conditions in 2005. Water stress compensation was suggested for rye and mustard, improving substantially the model estimates. Dry conditions during full cover crop growth resulted in water losses exceeding fallow by a maximum of +15.8% for rye, while no substantially higher water losses to the atmosphere were found in case of evenly distributed rainfall during the plant vegetation period with evaporation and transpiration concentrated in the upper soil layer. Generally the potential of cover crop induced water storage depletion was limited due to the low evaporative demand when plants achieved maximum growth. These results in a transpiration efficiency being highest for phacelia (5.1 gm(-2) mm(-1)) and vetch (5.4 gm(-2) mm(-1)) and substantially lower for rye (2.9 gm(-2) mm(-1)) and mustard (2.8 gm(-2) mm(-1)). Taking into account total evapotranspiration losses, mustard performed substantially better. The integration of stress compensation into the FAO crop coefficient approach provided reliable estimates of water losses under dry conditions. Cover crop species reducing the high evaporation potential from a bare soil surface in late summer by a fast canopy coverage during early development stages were considered most suitable in a sustainable cover crop management for water limited environments.
Autor*innen der BOKU Wien:
Bodner Gernot
Kaul Hans-Peter
Loiskandl Willibald
BOKU Gendermonitor:

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
cover crops
FAO method
stress compensation

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