In the present work the effect of five tillage methods on the hydraulic properties and water regime of a brown forest soil was studied. In each treatment, measurements of bulk density and soil water retention characteristics were carried out 3 times (March, June and August) within the vegetation period. Near-saturated hydraulic conductivity and soil water content measurements were performed five and eight times, respectively. Statistically valuable differences were obtained between the soil properties, measured in different tillage treatments. The effect of the tillage treatments on the water retention curves was significant in the low suction range (pF < 2.0) only. Differences between the soil water retention curves, measured at the end of the vegetation period reflected the indirect effect of different tillage systems on soil hydraulic properties. The seasonal variability of both the soil hydraulic functions was proofed. Saturated hydraulic conductivity values, evaluated in the ploughing treatment at the beginning and end of the vegetation period differed up to 4-times. The near-saturated hydraulic conductivity values measured in March were nearly two times higher in all the treatments, except no till, than those, measured in August. The applied tillage systems did not influence the potential amount of water available for the plant; still, valuable differences between the soil water contents were measured. According to the soil hydraulic properties and measured soil water regime, ploughing and deep loosening created the most favourable soil conditions for the plants. The biological activity, however, was the highest in the no till treatment. Further studies on the application of the soil conserving tillage systems under Hungarian conditions are recommended.
Mathematical models are effective tools for evaluating the impact of predicted climate change on agricultural production, but it is difficult to test their applicability to future weather conditions. We applied the SWAP model to assess its applicability to climate conditions, differing from those, for which the model was developed. We used a database obtained from a winter wheat drought stress experiment. Winter wheat was grown in six soil columns, three having optimal water supply (NS), while three were kept under drought-stressed conditions (S). The SWAP model was successfully calibrated against measured values of potential evapotranspiration (PET), potential evaporation (PE) and total amount of water (TSW) in the soil columns. The Nash-Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficient (N-S) for TWS for the stressed columns was 0.92. For the NS treatment, we applied temporally variable soil hydraulic properties because of soil consolidation caused by regular irrigation. This approach improved the N-S values for the wetting-drying cycle from -1.77 to 0.54. We concluded that the model could be used for assessing the effects of climate change on soil water regime. Our results indicate that soil water balance studies should put more focus on the time variability of structuredependent soil properties.
Knowledge of hydrological processes and water balance elements are important for climate adaptive water management as well as for introducing mitigation measures aiming to improve surface water quality. Mathematical models have the potential to estimate changes in hydrological processes under changing climatic or land use conditions. These models, indeed, need careful calibration and testing before being applied in decision making. The aim of this study was to compare the capability of five different hydrological models to predict the runoff and the soil water balance elements of a small catchment in Norway. The models were harmonised and calibrated against the same data set. In overall, a good agreement between the measured and simulated runoff was obtained for the different models when integrating the results over a week or longer periods. Model simulations indicate that forest appears to be very important for the water balance in the catchment, and that there is a lack of information on land use specific water balance elements. We concluded that joint application of hydrological models serves as a good background for ensemble modelling of water transport processes within a catchment and can highlight the uncertainty of models forecast.
The aim of this study was to evaluate a measuring technique for determining soil CO2 efflux from large soil samples having undisturbed structure under controlled laboratory conditions. Further objectives were to use the developed measuring method for comparing soil CO2 efflux from samples, collected in three different soil management systems at various soil water content values. The experimental technique was tested and optimised for timing of sampling by taking air samples after 1, 3 and 6 hours of incubation. Based on the results, the incubation time was set to three hours. The CO2 efflux measured for different soil management systems was the highest in the no-till and the lowest in the ploughing treatment, which was in accordance with measurements on accessible organic carbon for microbes. An increase in CO2 efflux with increasing soil water content was found in the studied soil water content range. Our results indicate that soil respiration rates, measured directly after tillage operations, can highly differ from those measured long after.
Soil as the largest potential natural water reservoir in the Carpathian Basin has increasing importance under conditions of predicted climate change resulting in increase of probability of extreme hydrological events. Soil management changes soil structure and has a major effect on soil water, heat and nutrition regimes. In this study the effect of four tillage treatments in combination with catch crop management was studied on soil hydraulic properties and water regime under semi-arid conditions. Investigations were carried out in a long-term soil tillage experiment established on Calcic Chernozem soil in Hungary. Tillage variants comprised mouldboard ploughing, disking, loosening combined with disking and direct drilling. The crop sequence between September 2003 and September 2004 comprised maize (main crop), rye (catch crop) and pea (forage). In May 2004, disturbed samples and undisturbed soil cores were collected from each tillage treatment/catch crop combination. The main soil physical and hydrophysical properties were determined in laboratory. In each treatment, capacitive soil moisture probes were installed up to 80 cm depth to ensure continuous measurement of soil water content. Total soil water amounts of chosen soil layers and soil water content dynamics as a function of depth were evaluated for selected periods in order to quantify the effect of the studied management systems on soil water regime. The main conclusion from the experiment is that under such (or similar) ecological conditions, the uniform, „over-standardized“ adaptation of tillage methods for soil moisture conservation is rather risky, their application needs special care and the future is for site-specific precision technologies. These are, in combination with catch crop application can be efficient measures of environmental protection and soil structure and water conservation.
In this study the possible effects of two predicted climate change scenarios on soil water regime of Hungarian Calcic Chernozem soils has been investigated. Soil profiles classified as Calcic Chernozem — in total 49 — were selected from the MARTHA soil physical database that incorporates soil data at national scale. These profiles were subdivided into three groups (sandy loam, loam and clayey loam) in accordance with their mechanical composition. Soil water retention curves were scaled separately for each of the three textural groups, using similar media scaling in order to represent the variability of soil hydrophysical data with one parameter, the scaling factor (SF). Reference soil profiles were chosen according to the cumulative distribution function of the scaling factor, six for each textural group. Daily downscaled meteorological data from A2 and B2 climate scenarios of the Hadley Centre (2070–2100) and data from a reference period (RF, 1961–1990) were used in this study to characterize different climatic situations. Nine representative years were selected in case of all the three scenarios, using the cumulative probability function of the annual precipitation sum. Scenario analyses were performed, validating the SWAP soil water balance simulation model for the 18 reference soil profiles and 27 representative years in order to evaluate the expected changes in soil water regime under different from the present (RF) climatic conditions (A2 and B2 scenarios). Our results show that the scaling factor could be used as a climate sensitivity indicator of soil water regime. The large climate sensitivity of the majority of Chernozem soil subtypes water regime has been proven.
Soil hydraulic properties are among the most important
parameters that determine soil quality and its capability
to serve the ecosystem. Land use can significantly
influence soil properties, including its hydraulic conditions;
however, additional factors, such as changes in climate
(temperature and precipitation), can further influence
the land use effects on soil hydraulic properties. In
order to develop possible adaptation measures and mitigate
any negative effects of land use and climatic changes,
it is important to study the impact of land use and changes
in land use on soil hydraulic properties. In this paper,
we summarize recent studies examining the effect of land
use/land cover and the associated changes in soil hydraulic
properties, mainly focusing on agricultural scenarios
of cultivated croplands and different tillage systems.
A mathematical model was applied for the Bükk Mountains (Hungary) to evaluate the effects of climate change on soil water balance elements and soil water regime. Model runs using SWAP model were performed for combinations of four distinctive soil types and three land use systems of arable land, grassland, and forest. The temporal variation of soil water regime under changing climatic conditions was examined considering no land cover change occurring in the future. The climate data consisted of the predictions of two regional climate models, the Swiss CLM and the Swedish RCA. The RCA results showed 45% to 50% and the CLM showed 5% to 14% higher future precipitation outlook compared to present conditions. Considering different land use types, the projected number of days with soil moisture deficit was the highest in forest ecosystems for both the upper 50 cm soil layer and the whole soil profile, which could be as high as 61% of days below optimal soil water content range. Our results showed increased water fluxes, especially in deep percolation in far future period and a strong influence of soil properties on the changes in the climate model results, indicating significant long-term effects of climate change on soil water regime.
Catchment scale hydrological models are promising tools for simulating the effect of catchment-specific processes and management on soil and water resources. Here, we present a model intercomparison study of runoff simulations using three different semi-distributed rainfall-runoff catchment models. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the applicability of the Hydrologiska Byrans Vattenavdelning (HBV-Light); Precipitation, Evapotranspiration and Runoff Simulator for Solute Transport (PERSiST); and INtegrated CAtchment (INCA) models on Somogybabod Catchment, near Lake Balaton, Hungary.
The models were calibrated and validated against observed discharge data at the outlet of the catchment for the period of January 1, 2006 –July 12, 2015. Model performance was evaluated using graphical representations, e.g. daily and monthly hydrographs and Flow Duration Curves (FDC) and model evaluation statistic; Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) and coefficient of determination (R2). The simulation results showed that the models provided good estimates of monthly average discharge (0.60–0.90 NSE; 0.60–0.91 R2) and satisfactory results for daily discharge (0.46–0.62 NSE; 0.50–0.67 R2). We found that the application of hydrological models serves as a powerful basis for ensemble modelling of average runoff and could enhance our understanding of the eco-hydrological and transport processes within catchments. On the other hand, it can highlight the uncertainty of model forecasts and the importance of goal specific evaluation.