Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Agrophysics
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 27, 2009
Publication Date: October 1, 2011
Citation: Pachepsky, Y.A., Van Genuchten, M.T. 2011. Pedotransfer Functions. In: Glinski, J., Horabik, J., Lipiec, J., editors. Encyclopedia of Agrophysics. Germany: Aprinter. p. 556-560.
Interpretive Summary: Agricultural and environmental modeling and assessment require inputs for soil parameters, particularly those governing retention and transport of water and chemicals in soils. Many of these properties are notoriously difficult to obtain experimentally due to the high labor costs associated with measuring them. As a consequence, it is advantageous to be able to resort to estimating these modeling-related soil parameters from other readily available data. The equations used for these estimations are called pedotransfer functions. We provide here a concise overview of the state-of-the-art with respect to pedotransfer function development. This overview is an important contribution to the first single source, comprehensive review of agrophysics. It is anticipated that this will be a widely used reference in the field.
Often, there is a need to estimate parameters governing retention and transport of water and chemicals in soils from other, readily available data. Equations expressing relationships between soil properties were proposed to be called pedotransfer functions. This entry provides the overview of the state of the art in this field. Input variables of pedotransfer functions are discussed, spatial issues related to PTF are outlined, methods to develop PTF are reviewed, PTF evaluation and selection is addressed, limits of PTF accuracy are discussed, and the role of PTFs in agrophysics is summarized. PTFs are essential tool to translate the data that we have to the data we need in agrophysics research and applications.