Peer review artikel

SWAP 50 years: Advances in modelling soil-water-atmosphere-plant interactions


“This paper highlights the evolution and impact of the SWAP model (Soil – Water – Atmosphere – Plant), which was initiated by R.A. Feddes and colleagues fifty years ago, in 1974. Since then, the SWAP model has played a crucial role in the advancement of agrohydrology. This paper highlights some major advances that have been made, especially focussing on the last fifteen years. The domain of the SWAP model deals with the simulation of the soil water balance in both unsaturated and saturated conditions. The model solves the Richards equation using the water retention and hydraulic conductivity functions as described by the Van Genuchten – Mualem equations. Bimodal extensions of the Van Genuchten – Mualem relationships have been implemented, as well as modifications near saturation and addressing hysteresis. An important sink term in the Richards equation is root water uptake. Crop development plays an important role in a robust simulation of root water uptake. That is why a link has been made with the dynamic crop growth model WOFOST. Instead of using a prescribed crop development, a distinction between potential and actual crop development is calculated by reducing the potential photosynthesis as a result of water or oxygen stress. Since the early days of SWAP, empirical and macroscopic concepts have been used to simulate root water uptake. Recently two process-based concepts of root water uptake and oxygen stress have also been implemented. Another important sink-source term in the Richards equation is the interaction with artificial drains. In SWAP, drainage can be simulated by either using prescribed or simulated drain heads and simulation of controlled drainage with subirrigation is possible. Finally, we briefly elaborate on three studies using SWAP: water stresses in agriculture in the Netherlands, regional water productivity in China, and controlled drainage with subirrigation. We finish discussing promising developments for the near future.”

(Citation: Heinen, M., Mulder, M., Dam, J. van, – SWAP 50 years: Advances in modelling soil-water-atmosphere-plant interactions – Agricultural Water Management 298(2024) art. no..108883 – DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2024.108883 – (Open Access))

© 2024 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY license

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