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WaLIS-A simple model to simulate water partitioning in a crop association: The example of an intercropped vineyard

Celette F., Ripoche A., Gary C.. 2010. Agricultural Water Management, 97 (11) : p. 1749-1759.

The introduction of cover crops in vineyards is being tested as it mitigates some undesirable environmental impacts of these cropping systems, such as surface runoff and soil erosion. In some cases, it could even reduce an excessive vegetative vigour of grapevine. However, most of time, wine growers are worried that severe competition for soil resources between the intercrop and grapevines could impair grape yield and quality. WaLIS (Water baLance for Intercropped Systems), a simple model simulating the water resource partitioning in such an association was designed to evaluate and optimize the water regime in intercropped systems. The model is presented and evaluated in this paper in three situations: the same grapevine cultivar (cv. Aranel) with either bare soil, or a temporary intercrop (barley) or a permanent intercrop (tall fescue). All three situations are located in the south of France. It is based on an existing model, designed to simulate the water regime of a bare soil vineyard, which was adapted to take into account the specific features of intercropped systems. Hence it includes a two-compartment representation of the soil particularly adapted to row crops. The simulation of a grass cover growth and its transpiration were added. Finally, particular importance was dedicated to the simulation of surface runoff which was the main source of the original model deviation during the winter period and made difficult multi-year simulations. Now, the model appears to be able to evaluate perennial cropping systems and provide decision support. The WaLIS model simulated the water available for both grapevine and intercrop well, and it proved to be efficient in most of the tested situations and years. The modelling of the water stress experienced by both crops was also generally good and all water fluxes simulated by the model were realistic. The main observed deviation in the simulation of the water soil content occurred during winter, i.e. outside the grapevine growth period. It was very likely due to the use of a constant parameter value for the surface runoff which did not take into account of changes in the soil surface and their effects on water infiltration. Finally, the analysis of sensitivity made on the WaLIS model showed that it is robust and sensitive to a few parameters, which drive the maximal grapevine transpiration and soil evaporation or are linked to the surface runoff simulation. The work also revealed how a good estimate of the total soil water available for each crop is crucial. This model, easy to use and parameterise, can provide sound management advice for designing valuable intercropped cropping systems. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : ruissellement; bilan hydrique; eau du sol; développement biologique; rendement; modèle de simulation; culture intercalaire; vitis vinifera; languedoc-roussillon

Thématique : Informatique, mathématiques et statistiques; Systèmes et modes de culture; Ressources en eau et leur gestion; Physiologie végétale - Croissance et développement

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