Evaluation of the AquaCrop model for simulating yield response of winter wheat to water on the southern Loess Plateau of China. Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of the FAO-AquaCrop model in winter wheat in the southern Loess Plateau of China. Multi-year field experimental data from 2004 and 2011 were used to calibrate and validate the model for simulating biomass, canopy cover (CC), soil water content, and grain yield under rainfed conditions. The model performance was evaluated using root mean square error (RMSE) and Willmott index of agreement (d) as criteria. The RMSE ranged from 0.16 to 0.38 t/ha for simulating aboveground biomass, 1.87 to 4.15% for CC, 0.50 to 1.44 t/ha for grain yield, and 5.70 to 22.56 mm for soil water content. The d ranged from 0.22 to 0.89, 0.25 to 0.43, 0.36 to 0.62 and 0.95 to 0.98 for aboveground biomass, CC, soil water content and grain yield, respectively. Generally, the model performed better for simulating CC and yield than biomass and soil water content. The results further indicated that AquaCrop is capable of simulating winter wheat yield under rainfed conditions. Further improvement may be needed to capture the variation of different management practices such as fertility and irrigation levels in this region.

published proceedings

  • Water Sci Technol

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, W., Liu, W., Xue, Q., Chen, J., & Han, X.

citation count

  • 26

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Wanhong||Liu, Wenzhao||Xue, Qingwu||Chen, Jie||Han, Xiaoyang

publication date

  • August 2013