Modelling crop transpiration in greenhouses: different models for different applications

Models for the evapotranspiration of greenhouse crops are needed both for accurate irrigation and for the simulation or management of the greenhouse climate. For this purpose, several evapotranspiration models have been developed and presented in an article by researchers from the Department of Agriculture Crop Production and Rural Environment of the University of Thessaly and Wageningen University & Research. All models are based on the Penman–Monteith approach, the “big-leaf” model.

So, on the one hand, relatively simple models have been developed for irrigation scheduling purposes, and on the other, “knowledge–mechanistic” models have been developed for climate control purposes. These models differ in the amount of detail about variables, such as stomatal and aerodynamic conductance.

The aim of the review paper is to present the variables and parameters affecting greenhouse crop transpiration, and to analyze and discuss the existing models for its simulation. The common sub-models used for the simulation of crop transpiration in greenhouses (aerodynamic and stomatal conductances, and intercepted radiation) are evaluated. The worth of the multilayer models for the simulation of the mass and energy exchanges between crops and air are also analyzed and discussed.

Following the presentation of the different models and approaches, it is obvious that the different applications for which these models have been developed entail varying requirements to the models, so that they cannot always be compared. Models developed in different locations (high–low latitudes or for closed or highly ventilated greenhouses) are discussed, and their sensitivity to different parameters is presented.

Read the full article here.

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