Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Spatial Modeling of Agricultural Watersheds: Water and Nutrient Management and Targeted Conservation Effects at Field to Watershed Scales

Location: Agricultural Systems Research Unit

Title: The Unified Plant Growth Model (UPGM): software framework overview and model application

Authors
item Ascough, James
item McMaster, Gregory
item Todd, Benjamin -
item Wagner, Larry
item Fox, Jr, Fred
item Edmunds, Debora
item Herder, Michael -

Submitted to: Environmental Modeling International Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 14, 2014
Publication Date: June 21, 2014
Citation: Ascough II, J.C., Mcmaster, G.S., Todd, B.L., Wagner, L.E., Fox, F.A., Edmunds, D.A., Herder, M.C. 2014. The Unified Plant Growth Model (UPGM): software framework overview and model application. Environmental Modeling International Conference Proceedings. Available: http://www.iemss.org/sites/iemss2014/papers/iemss2014_submission_352.pdf.

Interpretive Summary: The Unified Plant Growth Model (UPGM), initially derived from the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) plant growth model, has been developed to merge various enhancements from other EPIC-based plant growth models. In addition to serving as a “system integrator” for numerous EPIC-based plant growth models, UPGM also contains improved sub-models for phenology, seedling emergence, and canopy height derived from the Phenology Modular Modeling System (PhenologyMMS V1.2). The purpose of this paper is threefold: (1) briefly highlight the major scientific components contained in UPGM; (2) describe the UPGM software framework which is comprised of a state-of-the-art graphical user interface (GUI), databases, and geospatial model visualization tools; and (3) present an application (i.e., calibration and evaluation) of UPGM to a multi-year irrigated maize (Zea mays L.) study from northeast Colorado comparing both the original (i.e., based on WEPS) phenology, seedling emergence, and canopy height sub-models and the new sub-models taken from PhenologyMMS V1.2. Both the new phenology and seedling emergence sub-models respond well to water deficit conditions, increasing the robustness of UPGM for more diverse (e.g., semi-arid) environments. Future research will continue work to incorporate existing enhancements from other EPIC-based plant growth models to unify them within the UPGM framework.

Technical Abstract: Since the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model was developed in 1989, the EPIC plant growth component has been incorporated into other erosion and crop management models (e.g., WEPS, WEPP, SWAT, ALMANAC, and APEX) and modified to meet model developer research objectives. This has resulted in dissimilar versions of the same base plant growth component. The Unified Plant Growth Model (UPGM), initially derived from the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) plant growth model, was developed to merge various enhancements from other EPIC-based plant growth models. In addition to serving as a “system integrator” for numerous EPIC-based plant growth models, UPGM also contains improved sub-models for phenology, seedling emergence, and canopy height derived from the Phenology Modular Modeling System (PhenologyMMS V1.2). The purpose of this paper is threefold: (1) briefly highlight the major scientific components contained in UPGM; (2) describe the UPGM software framework which is comprised of a state-of-the-art graphical user interface (GUI), databases, and geospatial model visualization tools; and (3) present an application (i.e., calibration and evaluation) of UPGM to a multi-year irrigated maize (Zea mays L.) study from northeast Colorado comparing both the original (i.e., based on WEPS) phenology, seedling emergence, and canopy height sub-models and the new sub-models taken from PhenologyMMS V1.2. Both the new phenology and seedling emergence sub-models respond well to water deficit conditions, increasing the robustness of UPGM for more diverse (e.g., semi-arid) environments. Future research will continue work to incorporate existing enhancements from other EPIC-based plant growth models to unify them within the UPGM framework.

Last Modified: 11/26/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page