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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Soil, Water & Air Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #326848

Title: Uncertainty of wheat water use: Simulated patterns and sensitivity to temperature and CO2

item CANNARANO, DAVIDE - University Of Florida
item ROTTER, REIMUND - Mtt Agrifood Research Finland
item ASSENG, SENTHOLD - University Of Florida
item EWERT, FRANK - Institute For Agriculture & Crop Science - Germany
item WALLACH, DANIEL - French National Institute For Agricultural Research
item MATRE, PIERRE - French National Institute For Agricultural Research
item Hatfield, Jerry
item JONES, JAMES - University Of Florida
item ROSENZWEIG, CYNTHIA - National Aeronautics And Space Administration (NASA)
item RUANE, ALEX - National Aeronautics And Space Administration (NASA)
item White, Jeffrey

Submitted to: Field Crops Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/16/2016
Publication Date: 8/10/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Cannarano, D., Rotter, R.P., Asseng, S., Ewert, F., Wallach, D., Matre, P., Hatfield, J.L., Jones, J., Rosenzweig, C., Ruane, A., White, J.W. 2016. Uncertainty of wheat water use: Simulated patterns and sensitivity to temperature and CO2. Field Crops Research. 198:80-92.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Projected global warming and population growth will reduce water availability for agriculture, so it is essential to increase the effective use of water to ensure future crop productivity. Quantifying future crop water use (WU; i.e. actual evapotranspiration) is a critical step towards this goal. The many existing crop simulation models used to forecast crop yield have never been systematically evaluated for their ability to estimate crop WU and some of its components. Here, sixteen wheat simulation models were used to: i) quantify the contributions of sources of model uncertainty to calculations of plant transpiration, soil evaporation, and potential evapotranspiration; ii) analyze the difference between simulated and observed data for four contrasting sites; iii) estimate the relative changes, the patterns and the variability between models for the simulated WU, water use efficiency (WUE), transpiration efficiency (Teff), yield, plant transpiration and soil evaporation at elevated temperatures and carbon dioxide concentrations [CO2]. The simulations of crop WU were more uncertain than the simulations of potential evapotranspiration and the greatest uncertainty was due to differences in how crop transpiration was modeled. The simulated results indicated that crop WU will decline with increasing temperature. The uncertainties in simulated crop WU were greater under conditions of increases in temperature and with interactions between temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration. Hence the simulation of crop WU needs to be improved before models can reliably project how climate change will affect crop water demands.