A model to estimate soil water depletion coefficient using plant and soil properties

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Water and Soil research Institute

2 University of Tehran

3 University of Tabriz

4 University of Zanjan


IIn current study, a conceptual mathematic model is developed to determine the relationship between plant response factor to water (ky) and soil critical moisture (c) that below c, plant is under stress. The evaluation of model performance was done using a set of experimental data from a green-house trial. The results showed that for a given Ky, relative plant yield (Yr) is linearly reduced by decreasing the differences soil moisture from c (c-). The greater sensitivity of plant type or growth stage to water deficit (higher Ky values) caused more slope of linear relationship between Yr and (c-). In the other words, it can be assigned more allowable depletion coefficient for the plants with low Ky values. Moreover, for a given Yr, plant sensitivity is exponentially increased by the reduction of soil moisture. In addition to confirm the model results, exprimental observations showed that the critical moisture of clay loam soil for both soil was 0.28 cm3 cm-3, while the c values of sandy loam soil for wheat and canola ware 0.21 and 0.195 cm3 cm-3, respectively. Soil allowable depletion coefficient for wheat in both soils was obtained about 0.35. Whereas, soil allowable depletion coefficient for canola in sandy loam soil (F=0.44) was more than clay loam soil (F=0.38).


Main Subjects

Asadi, H. Neishaboori, M. R. and Siadat, H. (2003). Evaluating the wheat response factor to water (Ky) in different growth stages in Karaj. Iranian J. Agric. Sci., 34(3), 586-579.(In Farsi)
Asgarzadeh, H., Mosaddeghi, M. R., Mahboubi, A. A., Nosrati, A. and Dexter, A. R. (2011). Integral energy of conventional available water, least limiting water range and integral water capacity for better characterization of water availability and soil physical quality. Geoderma, 166, 34-42.
Assouline, S. and Or, D. (2014). The concept of field capacity revisited: Definig intrinsic static and dynamic criteria for soil internal drainage dynamics. Water Resour. Res., 50, 1-16. doi:10.1002/2014WR015475.
Bielorai, H. (1973). Prediction of Irrigation Needs. Berlin: Springer
Carlesso, R. (1993). Influence of soil water deficits on maize growth and leaf area adjustments. Ph.D. Thesis. Michigan State University.
Casadebaig, P., Debaeke, P. and Lecoeur, J. (2008). Thresholds for leaf expansion and transpiration response to soil water deficit in a range of sunflower genotypes. Eur. J. Argon., 28, 646–654.
Cassel, D. K. and Nielsen, D. R. (1986). Field capacity and available water capacity. In Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 1. Physical and Mineralogical Methods. Agronomy Monograph 9: 901–926.
Colman, E. A. (1947). A laboratory procedure for determining the field capacity of soils. Soil Sci., 63, 277–283.
da Silva, A. P., Kay, B. D. and Perfect, E. (1994). Characterization of the least limiting water range of soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 58, 1775–1781.
Dane, J. H., Hopmans J. (2002) Water retention and storage. In J. H. Dane and G. C. Clake (Eds.), Methods of Soil Analysis: Part 4. Physical Methods. (pp. 671-720). Madison: SSSA Book Series.
Dasberg, S. and Bakker, J. W. (1970). Characterizing soil aeration under changing soil moisture conditions for bean growth. Agronomy J., 62: 689-692.
Davatgar, N., Neishabouri, M. R., Sepaskhah, A. R., Soltani, A. (2009). Physiological and morphological responses of rice (Oryzasativa L.) to varying water stress management strategies. Int. J. Plant Prod. 3 (4), 19–32.
Doorenbos, J. and Kassam, A. H. (1979). Yield response to water.  Irrigation and Drainage Paper No.33, FAO, Rome.
FAO. (1979). Yield response to water. Irrigation and Drainage Paper No. 33, Rome.
FAO. (2013). Home. Country profiles. http://faostat.fao.org/site/666/default.aspx
Feddes, R. A., Kowalik, P. J. and Zaradny, H. (1978). Simulation of Field Water Use and Crop Yield. Pudoc, Wageningen, The Netherlands: Simulation Monograph
Gee, G. W. and Or, D. (2002). Particle-size analysis. In J. H. Dane and G. C. Topp (Eds.), Methods of Soil Analysis: Part 4. Physical Methods. (pp. 255- 293). Madison: SSSA Book Series.
Hammer, G. L. and Muchow, R. C. (1990). Quantifying climatic risk to sorghum in Australia’s semiarid tropics and subtropics: model development and simulation. In R. C. Muchow and J. A. Bellamy (Eds.), Climatic Risk in Crop Production: Models and Management for the Semi-arid Tropics and Subtropics. (pp. 205-232). Wallingford: C.A.B. International.
Hillel, D. (1998). Redistribution of water in soil. In D. Hillel (Ed.), Environmental Soil Physics. (pp. 449– 470). San Diego, Calif: Academic.
Kang, S. Z., Zhang, L., Liang, Y. L., Hu, X. T., Cai, H. J., Gu, B. J., (2002). Effects of limited irrigation on yield and water use efficiency of winter wheat in the Loess Plateau of China. Agric. Water Manage., 55 (3), 203–216.
Kipkorir, E. C., Raes, D. and Massawe, B. 2002. Seasonal water production functions and yield response factors for maize and onion in Perkerra, Kenya. Agric. Water Manage. 56: 229–240.
Kirkham, M. B. (2005). Principles of soil and plant water relations. Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press
Letey, J. (1985). Relationship between soil physical properties and crop production. Adv. Soil Sci., 1, 277–294.
Masinde, P. W., Stu˝ tzel, H., Agong, S. G., Fricke, A. (2006). Plant growth, water relations and transpiration of two species of African nightshade (Solanum villosum Mill. ssp.) Miniatum (Bernh. ex Willd.) Edmonds and S. sarrachoidesSendtn.) under water-limited conditions. Sci. Hortic., 110 (1), 7–15.
Meyer, P. D. and Gee, G. (1999). Flux-based estimation of field capacity. J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng., 125, 595–599.
Minasny, B. and McBratney, A. B. (2003). Integral energy as a measure of soil–water availability. Plant Soil, 249, 253–262.
Muchow, R. C. and Sinclair, T. R. (1991). Water deficit effects on maize yields modeled under current and “greenhouse” climates. Agron. J., 83, 1052–1059.
Novák, V., Hurtalova, T. and Matejka, F. (2005). Predicting the effects of soil water content and soil water potential on transpiration of maize. Agric. Water Manage. 76 (3), 211–223.
Raes, D., Geerts, S., Kipkorir, E., Wellens, J. and Sahli, A. (2006). Simulation of yield decline as a result of water stress with a rebust soil water balance model. Agric. Water Manage., 81, 335-357.
Ratliff, L. F., Ritchie, J. T. and Cassel, D. K. (1983). Field-measured limits of soil water availability as related to laboratory-measured properties. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 47, 770–775.
Ray, J. D., Gesch, R. W., Sinclair, T. R. and Allen, L. H. (2002). The effect of vapor pressure deficit on maize transpiration response to a drying soil. Plant Soil, 239(1), 113–121.
Ritchie, J.T. (1981). Water dynamics in the soil–plant–atmosphere system. Plant Soil, 58, 81–96.
Robertson, M. J. and Fukai, S. (1994). Comparison of water extraction models for grain sorghum under continuous soil drying. Field Crops Res., 36 (2), 145–160.
Romano, N. and Santini, A. (2002). Field. In J. H. Dane and G. C. Topp (Ed.s), Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 4, Physical Methods. (pp. 721– 738). Madison: SSSA Book Series.
Shrestha, R., Turner, N. C., Siddique, K. H., Turner, D. W. and Speijers, J. (2006). A water deficit during pod development in lentils reduces flower and pod number but not pod size. Aust. J. Agric. Res., 57(4), 427-438.
Sinaki, J. M., Majidi Heravan, E., Shirani Rad, A. H., Noormohamadi, G. and Zarei, G. (2007). The effects of water deficit during growth stages of canola (Brassica napus L.). Ameri-Eurasi. J. Agric. Environ., 2(4), 417- 424.
Sinclair, T. R. and Muchow, R. C. (2001). System analysis of plant traits to increase grain yield on limited water supplies. Agronomy J., 93, 263-70.
Timlin, D. J., Pachepsky, Y., Snyder, V. A. and Bryant, R. B. (2001). Water budget approach to quantify corn grain yields under variable rooting depths. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 65, 1219–1226.
Turner, N. C., Schulze, E. D. and Gollan, T. (1985). The responses of stomata and leaf gas exchange to vapour pressure deficits and soil water content (II): in the mesophytic herbaceous species Helianthus annuus. Oecologia, 65 (3), 348–355.
Van Genuchten, M. Th. (1980). A closed form equation for predicting the hydraulic conductivity of unsaturated soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 44, 892–898.
Veihmeyer, F. J. and Hendrickson, A. H. (1949). Methods of measuring field capacity and wilting percentages of soils. Soil Sci., 68, 75–94.
Wahbi, A. and Sinclair, T. R. (2007). Transpiration response of Arabidopsis, maize andsoybean to drying of artificial and mineral soil. Environ. Exp. Bot., 59(2), 188–192.
Wraith, J. M. and Or, D. (1998). Nonlinear parameter estimation using spreadsheet software. J. Nat. Resour. Life Sci. Educ., 27, 13–19.
Wu, Y., Huang, M. and Gallichand, J. (2011). Transpirational response to water availability for winter wheat as affected by soil textures. Agric. water manage., 98, 569-576.
Yarnia, M., Amirhallaji, H., Alyari, H., Valizade, M. and Khorshidi, M. B. (2005). Evaluation of drought on yield and yield componenents of azarghol (Helianthus annuus) in different density. P2.99. InterDrought-II. 24-28 Sept. Rome, Italy.