Special Issue "Agricultural Microclimate and Irrigation Water Management"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Biometeorology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (3 December 2021) | Viewed by 5435

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Daniela Vanella
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Università degli Studi di Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
Interests: crop water requirements; irrigation strategies; electrical resistivity tomography; remote sensing application; soil water dynamics; soil–plant–atmosphere interactions; agro-meteorology
Dr. Juan Miguel Ramírez-Cuesta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CEBAS), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Espinardo, 30100 Murcia, Spain
Interests: remote sensing; evapotranspiration; precision agriculture; modeling; surface energy balance; soil water balance; geographic information systems; irrigation management; crop water stress; crop coefficient
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The atmosphere represents a critical compartment involved in a multitude of biophysical processes. Changing factors in microclimate, such as those derived from climate change, largely influence agricultural production and quality, crop water requirements, crop parameters, and soil water and nutrient dynamisms (e.g., evaporation, transpiration, and soil moisture retention). As a result of their influence on these processes, microclimate holds great potential for increasing the capacity of agro-ecosystems to sustain agricultural production and provide a buffer layer against climate change. Nevertheless, the monitoring and management of microclimate features at farm and watershed level is often not considered or not well understood.

This Special Issue calls for a wide range of original case and review studies focused on the influence of microclimate and agro-meteorology issues on the estimation of water-use efficiency and productivity in the main context of irrigation water management for sustainable agro-system production. The use of remote sensing techniques has a relevant role in this Special Issue. In particular, the following topics are very welcome:

  • Studies evaluating the effects on the applications of sustainable practices in agriculture (e.g., water harvesting and precision irrigation strategies) multi-scale approaches, ranging from farm to watershed level;
  • Studies for monitoring/modelling energy and mass fluxes and soil–plant–atmosphere (SPA) interactions using multi-data source approaches;
  • Studies oriented towards improving the knowledge about biophysical processes within the SPA continuum for developing sustainable irrigation strategies;
  • Research on the assessment of climate change effects on agricultural biophysical processes, as well as the evaluation of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in the agricultural context.
  • Studies focused on the development of agro-meteorological forecasts and their application for improving the accuracy of crop water requirement estimations and for knowing about the occurrence of extreme weather events in advance.

Dr. Daniela Vanella
Dr. Juan Miguel Ramírez-Cuesta
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • agro-meteorology
  • crop water requirements
  • soil–plant–atmosphere continuum
  • sustainable irrigation
  • climate change
  • weather forecast
  • remote sensing

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Effect of Climate Variability on Water Footprint of Some Grain Crops under Different Agro-Climatic Regions of Egypt
Atmosphere 2022, 13(8), 1180; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13081180 - 26 Jul 2022
Viewed by 289
Abstract
The water footprint (WF), based on irrigation water quality, is important as a decision-making tool for crop selection based on the comparative advantage of water consumption and yield to maximize agricultural water productivity and sustainably improve water use efficiency. This paper [...] Read more.
The water footprint (WF), based on irrigation water quality, is important as a decision-making tool for crop selection based on the comparative advantage of water consumption and yield to maximize agricultural water productivity and sustainably improve water use efficiency. This paper presents a generic link between climate variability and water footprint. To support this link, a case study is presented for wheat and maize in different agro-climate zones in Egypt. In this study, the three agro-ecological zones, Nile Delta, Middle Egypt, and Upper Egypt, were selected to represent three different microclimates. The climate data were analyzed to estimate reference evapotranspiration (ETo) and calculate crop water use (CWU) for wheat and maize from 2015 through 2019. Cultivated area and yield data were analyzed during the study period. Water footprint (WF) was calculated for old land (clay soils) and new lands (sandy soils) in three climate regions based on blue and grey water. Green water was excluded due to negligible rainfall depths in Egypt. The results showed that the mean values of WF for maize were 1067, 1395, 1655 m3/ton in old land and 1395, 1634, 2232 m3/ton in new land under the three climate regions, respectively, while it was 923, 982, 1117 m3/ton in old land and 1180, 1258, 1452 m3/ton for wheat in new land for the three regions, respectively. The results show that the crop water use fluctuated over regions due to climate variability where the CWU values were 6211, 7335, 8007 m3/ha for maize and 4348, 4825, 5774 m3/ha for wheat in the three regions, respectively. The results show an 11% and 33% increase in maize and an 18% and 29% increase in wheat CWU in Middle and Upper Egypt regions comparing to what was observed in Nile Delta due to an increase in solar radiation, temperature, and wind speed. The Egypt mean value of wheat water footprint was 1152 m3/ton and mean value of maize water footprint was 1563 m3/ton. The data clearly show the effect of microclimate variability on WF and irrigation requirements between regions. The methodology and results from this study provide a pathway to help the policy makers to mitigate climate change impacts on crop yield and to enhance water resources management in major crop production regions by redistribution of the cropping patterns based on the comparative advantages of each crop within each region. The crop choices relative to the soil water retention characteristics could also contribute to the moderation of microclimate, which affects ETo and ETc and the water footprint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Microclimate and Irrigation Water Management)
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Article
Electromagnetic Induction Measurements for Investigating Soil Salinization Caused by Saline Reclaimed Water
Atmosphere 2022, 13(1), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13010073 - 31 Dec 2021
Viewed by 500
Abstract
This paper focused on the use of electromagnetic induction measurements in order to investigate soil salinization caused by irrigation with saline reclaimed water. An experimental activity was carried out during the growing season of tomato crop in order to evaluate expected soil salinization [...] Read more.
This paper focused on the use of electromagnetic induction measurements in order to investigate soil salinization caused by irrigation with saline reclaimed water. An experimental activity was carried out during the growing season of tomato crop in order to evaluate expected soil salinization effects caused by different saline agro-industrial wastewaters used as irrigation sources. Soil electrical conductivity, strictly related to the soil salinity, has been monitored for three months by means of Electromagnetic Induction (EMI) measurements, and evident differences in the soil response have been observed. The study highlighted two aspects that can improve soil investigation due to the utilization of geophysical tools. First, EMI data can map large areas in a short period of time with an unprecedented level of detail by overcoming practical difficulties in order to massively sample soil. At the same time, repeated measurements over time allow updating real-time soil salinity maps by using accurate correlations with soil electrical conductivity. This application points out how integrated agro-geophysical research approaches can play a strategic role in agricultural saline water management in order to prevent soil salinization risks in medium to long-term periods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Microclimate and Irrigation Water Management)
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Article
Beneficial Effect of Biochar on Irrigated Dwarf-Green Coconut Tree
Atmosphere 2022, 13(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13010051 - 29 Dec 2021
Viewed by 350
Abstract
The coconut tree is considered one of the greatest consumers of irrigation water, ranging from 100 to 240 L day−1. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of biochar application on decreased irrigation water needs in a [...] Read more.
The coconut tree is considered one of the greatest consumers of irrigation water, ranging from 100 to 240 L day−1. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of biochar application on decreased irrigation water needs in a 2-year irrigated dwarf coconut palm orchard field experiment. Biochar was characterized chemically and by electron microscope images. Biochar morphology presented several micropores indicating water retention potential. Amounts of biochar were tested (0, 5, 10, 20, 40 g of biochar per kg of soil), representing 0.0; 0.5; 1.0; 2.0; and 4.0 kg per plant. Micro sprinkler irrigation started following the planting of the 90-day old hybrid dwarf coconut seedlings. The impacts of the application of the biochar on the chemical attributes of the soil, biometry of the coconut plants, water storage in the 0–0.3 m soil layer, and the volume of irrigation water required by treatment were evaluated. After two years (2017 and 2018), the application of the biochar resulted in no statistically significant differences in the chemical attributes of the soil and biometric variables of plants between different treatments. The volume of annual irrigation water per plant versus biochar quantity demonstrated a decreasing effect, due to the increase of soil water storage. The dose of 40 g of biochar per kg of soil presented the highest two-year average soil water retention (0–0.3 m layer) among treatments (34, 36, 34, 38, and 45 mm, respectively), resulting in lower 2-year irrigation water demand (28, 36, 29, 28 and 20 L plant−1 day−1, respectively). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Microclimate and Irrigation Water Management)
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Article
Deficit Irrigation Using Saline Water of Fruit Trees under Water Scarcity Conditions of Southern Tunisia
Atmosphere 2021, 12(7), 864; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12070864 - 02 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 734
Abstract
Both water scarcity and salinity are major obstacles for crop production in arid parts of Tunisia and require adoption of strategies aimed at improving water-use efficiency. Field experiments on deficit irrigation (DI) of table olive, orange trees, and grapevines with saline water (2 [...] Read more.
Both water scarcity and salinity are major obstacles for crop production in arid parts of Tunisia and require adoption of strategies aimed at improving water-use efficiency. Field experiments on deficit irrigation (DI) of table olive, orange trees, and grapevines with saline water (2 dS·m−1) were conducted in the arid region of Médenine, Tunisia. Three irrigation treatments were compared with the farmer’s method (FM) over two years (2013–2014): deficit irrigation (DI75) and (DI50), which received 75% and 50% less water than full irrigation (FI), respectively, and full compensation of the crop evapotranspiration (FI). Measurements included seasonal changes in soil water content, soil salinity, yield, fruit quality, and economic return. Results showed that in-season water limitations, roughly between 700–250 mm, caused significant reductions in yield and fruit weight, but improved the total soluble solids of fruits. Under FI, DI75, DI50, and FM, average yields were 26.6, 20.1, 14.7, and 21.2 t·ha−1 for orange, 4.5, 4.0, 3.1, and 3.5 t·ha−1 for table olive, and 3.8, 3.4, 3.1, and 3.5 t·ha−1 for grapevine, respectively. Soil salinity build up increased linearly with decreasing irrigation water. Irrigation water productivity (IWP), although lowest for FM, was relatively high (3.30–4.30 kg·m−3 for orange, 0.65–1.20 kg·m−3 for table olive, and 0.74–1.30 kg·m−3 for grapevine). Economic evaluation showed that the FI strategy generated the greatest net income (1800–6630 USD·ha−1), followed by DI75 (1350–3940 USD·ha−1), FM (844–4340 USD·ha−1), and DI50 (600–2400 USD·ha−1). The results show an important potential for reasonably sustaining farmer’s income under increased water scarcity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Microclimate and Irrigation Water Management)
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Article
Which Is More Sensitive to Water Stress for Irrigation Scheduling during the Maturation Stage: Grapevine Photosynthesis or Berry Size?
Atmosphere 2021, 12(7), 845; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12070845 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 619
Abstract
To better understand the sensitivity of berry size and grapevine photosynthesis to water stress, and determine the soil water potential (ψ) threshold for scheduling irrigation during the maturation stage, we simultaneously measured berry size with photographs, leaf net photosynthesis with a portable meter, [...] Read more.
To better understand the sensitivity of berry size and grapevine photosynthesis to water stress, and determine the soil water potential (ψ) threshold for scheduling irrigation during the maturation stage, we simultaneously measured berry size with photographs, leaf net photosynthesis with a portable meter, and ψ with tensiometers during the drying cycles for grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.). Our results showed that in berry development stage III (maturation), photosynthesis was more sensitive to water stress than berry size. When ψ decreased beyond −13.2 ± 0.82 kPa, photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, transpiration, and extrinsic (AN/E) and intrinsic (AN/gs) water use efficiency (WUE) decreased rapidly and did not recover thereafter. In contrast, the berry size remained close to unaffected by the decreasing ψ until it reached a value of −16.2 ± 0.77 kPa and, thereafter, the berry shrank significantly. In conclusion, we suggest that during the maturation stage of grapevines, for the potted mixture used in our experiments, irrigation should be triggered when the ψ reaches a value of −13.2 ± 0.82 kPa. Further, ψ should be kept lower than −6.9 ± 0.15 kPa after irrigation, because the highest values of intrinsic WUE (AN/gs) occurred when ψ decreased from −6.9 ± 0.15 to −14.6 ± 0.7 kPa. In arid areas, the threshold ψ should be considered as −16.2 ± 0.77 kPa during maturation to achieve high-efficiency use of water resources and sustainable production of grapevines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Microclimate and Irrigation Water Management)
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Article
Estimation of the Latent Heat Flux over Irrigated Short Fescue Grass for Different Fetches
Atmosphere 2021, 12(3), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12030322 - 01 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 754
Abstract
Often in agrometeorology the instrumentation required to estimate turbulent surface fluxes must be installed at sites where fetch is not sufficient for a sector of wind directions. For different integrated flux-footprints (IFFP) thresholds and taking as a reference the half-hourly latent heat fluxes [...] Read more.
Often in agrometeorology the instrumentation required to estimate turbulent surface fluxes must be installed at sites where fetch is not sufficient for a sector of wind directions. For different integrated flux-footprints (IFFP) thresholds and taking as a reference the half-hourly latent heat fluxes (LE) measured with a large weighing lysimeter (LELys), the eddy covariance (EC) method and two methods based on surface renewal (SR) analysis to estimate LE were tested over short fescue grass. One method combined SR with the flux-gradient (profile) relationship, SR-P method, and the other with the dissipation method, SR-D method. When LE was estimated using traces of air moisture, good performances were obtained using the EC and the SR-P methods for samples with IFFP higher than 85%. However, the closest LE estimates were obtained using the residual method. For IFFP higher than 50%, the residual method combined with the sensible heat flux estimates determined using the SR-P method performed close to LELys and using the SR-D method good estimates were obtained for accumulated LELys. To estimate the sensible heat flux, the SR-D method can be recommended for day-to-day use by farmers because it is friendly and affordable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Microclimate and Irrigation Water Management)
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Article
Correction of Eddy Covariance Based Crop ET Considering the Heat Flux Source Area
Atmosphere 2021, 12(2), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12020281 - 21 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 816
Abstract
Eddy covariance (EC) systems are being used to measure sensible heat (H) and latent heat (LE) fluxes in order to determine crop water use or evapotranspiration (ET). The reliability of EC measurements depends on meeting certain meteorological assumptions; the most important of such [...] Read more.
Eddy covariance (EC) systems are being used to measure sensible heat (H) and latent heat (LE) fluxes in order to determine crop water use or evapotranspiration (ET). The reliability of EC measurements depends on meeting certain meteorological assumptions; the most important of such are horizontal homogeneity, stationarity, and non-advective conditions. Over heterogeneous surfaces, the spatial context of the measurement must be known in order to properly interpret the magnitude of the heat flux measurement results. Over the past decades, there has been a proliferation of ‘heat flux source area’ (i.e., footprint) modeling studies, but only a few have explored the accuracy of the models over heterogeneous agricultural land. A composite ET estimate was created by using the estimated footprint weights for an EC system in the upwind corner of four fields and separate ET estimates from each of these fields. Three analytical footprint models were evaluated by comparing the composite ET to the measured ET. All three models performed consistently well, with an average mean bias error (MBE) of about −0.03 mm h−1 (−4.4%) and root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.09 mm h−1 (10.9%). The same three footprint models were then used to adjust the EC-measured ET to account for the fraction of the footprint that extended beyond the field of interest. The effectiveness of the footprint adjustment was determined by comparing the adjusted ET estimates with the lysimetric ET measurements from within the same field. This correction decreased the absolute hourly ET MBE by 8%, and the RMSE by 1%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Microclimate and Irrigation Water Management)
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