Using the WISE database to parameterize soil inputs for crop simulation models
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Gijsman, A.J.; Thornton, P.K.; Hoogenboom, G. 2007. Using the WISE database to parameterize soil inputs for crop simulation models. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 56(2):85-100.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/2115
During the 1990s, a soils database was developed by the International Soil Reference and Information Centre in The Netherlands for the project “World Inventory of Soil Emission Potentials” (WISE). Using this database, we converted 1125 soil profiles from around the world into a format that can be used as input data to some commonly used biophysical computer models, such as the crop simulation models within the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT). Soil data are often unavailable, particularly for many locations in the tropical and subtropical regions. If little or nothing is known about the soil profile for a particular location, a soil database can be used to estimate some of its parameters, based on a comparison with other soils from the same region. The WISE database is one of the most comprehensive soil databases, with samples well distributed in the World. The resulting soil profile can then be used as input parameters for a model to simulate growth, development and yield for one or more crops for this location. With multiple profiles available for many soil classes, it is possible to obtain an indication about the range of values for each soil parameter and then conduct an uncertainty analysis with respect to the model's response to this range. All soil profiles have been geo-referenced, and can thus be linked to the digital version of the FAO-UNESCO soil map of the world. We describe the methods used to convert the soil profile database, discuss the variability of key soil variables by soil class, illustrate how the database can be used, and conclude with recommendations for further work to improve the database for biophysical modeling applications.