Performance Evaluation of AquaCrop Model in Simulating Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) Growth under Different Soil Fertility Stress in Controlled Greenhouse Conditions

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Irrigation & Reclamation Engineering Faculty of Agriculture Engineering &Technology College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.

2 Professor, Irrigation and Reclamation Engineering Department, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.

3 Associate Professor, Horticultural Sciences Department, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.


The agricultural sector is particularly important in the economic growth and development of different societies. The application of Nitrogen fertilizer is one of the most influential factors in agricultural productivity enhancement. Management and optimum fertilizer consumption based on field or greenhouse experiments are time and cost consuming. Therefore, the application of models that simulate the effects of different fertility stresses on crop production are useful tools in fertilizer planning and optimization. In the AquaCrop model, the crop biomass is simulated using a semi-quantitative method. The purpose of this study was to simulate basil response to different fertilizer treatments and evaluate the semi-quantitative method used in the AquaCrop model. For this purpose, a study was carried out in a research greenhouse of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, during two growth periods. Five levels of nitrogen fertilizer application (Urea fertilizer) with three replications was investigated to find out the effect of fertility stress on basil yield. Initially, the semi-quantitative method was calibrated. The calibration results showed that the normalized water productivity coefficient decreased by 41%. Then, the AquaCrop model was validated using statistical measures to estimate biomass and canopy cover. The variation range for R2, MBE and RRMSE indices for crop biomass were 0.95-0.98, 1.72-21.56 g m-2, 17/42-19.07% and for canopy cover were 0.66-0.78, 6.44-12.86% and 19.66-21.83%, respectively. According to the results, the AquaCrop model and the semi-quantitative method can be used as a suitable tool to simulate crop growth under soil fertility stress conditions.


Main Subjects

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