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Open AccessArticle

Simulation of Soil Water Content in Mediterranean Ecosystems by Biogeochemical and Remote Sensing Models

IBIMET-CNR, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy
LaMMA Consortium, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy
Department of Life Sciences, University of Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(5), 665;
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 10 May 2018 / Accepted: 16 May 2018 / Published: 19 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring and Predicting Soil Moisture and Drought Conditions)
The current study assesses the potential of two modeling approaches to simulate the daily site water budget in Mediterranean ecosystems. Both models utilize a simplified one-bucket approach but are fed with different drivers. The first model, BIOME-BGC, simulates all main biogeochemical fluxes based on conventional meteorological and ancillary data, while the second uses evapotranspiration estimates derived from the combination of meteorological data and satellite normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) images. The two models were tested for three Italian sites which are characterized by different vegetation types and ecoclimatic conditions: (i) low mountain coniferous forest; (ii) hilly deciduous forest; (iii) urban grassland. The soil water balance simulated by the two models was evaluated through comparison with daily measurements of soil water content (SWC) taken during a growing season. Satisfactory results were obtained in all cases by both approaches; the SWC estimates are significantly correlated with the measurements (correlation coefficient, r, higher than 0.74), and the mean errors are lower than 0.079 cm3 cm−3. The second model, however, generally shows a higher accuracy, which is dependent on the quality of the NDVI data utilized (r higher than 0.79 and errors lower than 0.059 cm3 cm−3). The study therefore provides useful indications for the application of these and similar simulation methods in different environmental situations. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil water content; BIOME-BGC; NDVI; MODIS soil water content; BIOME-BGC; NDVI; MODIS
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Battista, P.; Chiesi, M.; Fibbi, L.; Gardin, L.; Rapi, B.; Romanelli, S.; Romani, M.; Sabatini, F.; Salerni, E.; Perini, C.; Maselli, F. Simulation of Soil Water Content in Mediterranean Ecosystems by Biogeochemical and Remote Sensing Models. Water 2018, 10, 665.

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