Simulating crop rotations and management across climatic zones in Europe – an intercomparison study using fifteen models

Kurt Christian Kersebaum


Process based crop simulation models are widely used to assess crop production under current or future climate conditions. Most studies on climate impacts on crop growth are so far focussed on single crops and single-year simulations. However, it is known that the position of crops within a rotation can influence crop growth significantly due to carry-over effects between seasons. We compared crop models on crop rotation effects from five sites across Central Europe providing in total data of 301 cropping seasons and treatments. Treatments comprised irrigation, nitrogen (N) fertilisation, atmospheric [CO2], tillage, residue management, cover crops and soils. Crop rotations were simulated with 15 crop models as single-year simulations and/or continuous simulations over whole crop rotations in “restricted calibration” runs. Lower RMSE between observed and simulated crop yields were obtained for continuous runs as compared to single-year runs. Relatively low carry-over effects were observed due to equilibration of soil water over winter and high N fertilisation levels. Consistently, a sub-set of models applied to an additional rainfed Mediterranean site reproduced larger carry-over effects of soil water. Irrigation, N supply, cover crops and atmospheric [CO2] showed clearer effects than tillage and crop residue management. Model performance varied distinctly between crops showing the necessity to provide experimental data for model calibration also for less prominent crops.

Full Text:



Authors: Kurt Christian Kersebaum1* , Chris Kollas1, Claas Nendel1, Kiril Manevski2, Christoph Müller3, Taru Palosuo4, Cecilia M. Armas-Herrera5, Nicolas Beaudoin5, Marco Bindi6, Monia Charfeddine7, Tobias Conradt3 , Julie Constantin8, Josef Eitzinger9, Frank Ewert11, Roberto Ferrise6, Thomas Gaiser11, Iñaki Garcia de Cortazar-Atauri12 , Luisa Giglio7 , Petr Hlavinka13, Holger Hoffmann11, Munir P. Hoffmann14, Marie Launay12, Remy Manderscheid15, Bruno Mary5, Wilfried Mirschel1, Marco Moriondo6, Jørgen E. Olesen2, Isik Öztürk2, Andreas Pacholski15,9, Dominique Ripoche-Wachter12, Pier Paolo Roggero6, Svenja Roncossek2, Reimund P. Rötter4, Françoise Ruget16 , Behzad Sharif2, Jozef Takáč18, Mirek Trnka13, Domenico Ventrella7, Katharina Waha3, Martin Wegehenkel1, Hans-Joachim Weigel15, Lianhai Wu17

Affiliations: 1Institute of Landscape Systems Analysis, Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Eberswalder Str. 84,15374 Müncheberg, Germany; 2 Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Blichers Alle 20, 8830 Tjele, Denmark; 3 Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, P.O. Box 601203, 14412 Potsdam, Germany; 4 MTT Agrifood Research Finland, Latokartanonkaari 9, 00790 Helsinki, Finland; 5 INRA UR1158 AgroImpact, 020000 Barenton-Bugny, France; 6 CNR-IBIMET, Traversa La Crucca 3, 07100 Sassari , Italy; 7 CRA-SCA, Via Celso Ulpiani 5, 70125 Bari, Italy; 8 INRA, UMR1248 AGIR, F- 31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France; 9 Institute of Meteorology, Department for Water, Atmosphere and Environment, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Peter Jordan Strasse 82, A-1190 Vienna, Austria; 10 Graduate School/Inkubator, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Scharnhorststr. 1, 21335 Lüneburg, Germany; 11 INRES, University of Bonn, Katzenburgweg 1, 53115 Bonn, Germany; 12 INRA, US1116 AgroClim, F-84914 Avignon, France; 13 Mendel University, Zemědělská 1665/1, 61300 Brno, Czech Republic; 14 Crop Production Sytems in the Tropics, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Grisebachstr. 6, 37077 Göttingen; 15 Heinrich von Thunen-Institute, Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany; 16 INRA, UMR1114 EMMAH, F- 84914 Avignon, France; 17 Rothamsted Research, North Wyke, Okehampton EX20 1FE, UK; 18 Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute, Gagarinova 10, 827 13 Bratislava, Slovak Republic

Previous issues and volumes can be found in the 'Archives' section.

You can refer to a paper published in this series in the following format Author (2013) Title. FACCE MACSUR Reports 2: D-C1.3, where "D-C1.3" is the article ID en lieu of page range.