Model inter-comparison on crop rotation effects – an intermediate report

Kurt Christian Kersebaum, Chris Kollas, Marco Bindi, Taru Palosuo, Lianhai Wu, Behzad Sharif, Isik Öztürk, Mirek Trnka, Petr Hlavinka, Claas Nendel, Christoph Müller, Katharina Waha, Cecilia Armas-Herrera, Jørgen E Olesen, Josef Eitzinger, Pier Paolo Roggero, Tobias Conradt, Pierre Martre, Roberto Ferrise, Marco Moriondo, Margarita Ruiz-Ramos, Domenico Ventrella, Reimund P. Rötter, Martin Wegehenkel, Henrik Eckersten, Ignacio J. Lorite Torres, Carlos Gregorio Hernandez, Marie Launay, Allard de Wit, Holger Hoffmann, Hans-Joachim Weigel, Remigius Manderscheid, Nicolas Beaudoin, Julie Constantin, Iñaki Garcia de Cortazar-Atauri, Bruno Mary, Dominique Ripoche, Françoise Ruget


Data of diverse crop rotations from five locations across Europe were distributed to modelers to investigate the capability of models to handle complex crop rotations and management interactions. Crop rotations comprise various main crops (winter/spring wheat, winter/spring barley, rye, oat, maize, sugar beet, oil seed rape and potatoes) plus several catch crops. The experimental setup of the datasets included treatments such as modified soils, crops exchanged within the rotations, irrigation/rainfed, nitrogen fertilization, residue management, tillage and atmospheric CO2 concentration. 19 modeling teams registered to model either the whole rotation or single crops. Models which are capable to run the whole rotation should provide transient as well as single year simulations with a reset of initial conditions. In the first step only initial soil conditions (water and soil mineral N) of the first year and key phenological stages were provided to the modelers. For calibration, crop yields and biomass were provided for selected years but not for all seasons. In total the combination of treatments and seasons results in 301 years of simulation.

Results were analyzed to evaluate the effect of transient simulation versus single-year simulation regarding crop yield, biomass, water and nitrogen balance components. Model results will be evaluated crop-specifically to identify crops with highest uncertainty and potential for model improvement. Full data will be provided to modelers for model-improvement and results will provide insights into model capabilities to reproduce treatments and crops. Further, the question of error propagation along the transient simulation of crop rotations will be addressed.

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