The objective of the present study was to calibrate and validate Aquacrop model under the semi arid condition of central Tunisia. Field experiments from two consecutive years were considered to test the efficacy of a preliminary calibration procedure in simulating water contents (Ɵv), canopy cover (CC) and transpiration. Statistical indicators for root mean square error (RMSE), Mean Bias Error (MBE), Nasch coefficient (E) and evidenced that model predictions were good under non stressed plots and acceptable for stressed treatment in simulating the temporal dynamic of the canopy cover. Soil water contents and transpiration varied in the same range of measured values. However, the model in general underestimated the measured values of cumulative transpiration. This underestimation was accentuated in the end of the growth season and for higher values of reference transpiration. Results allowed describing basic calibration procedure for Aquacrop model in order to determine accurate estimation of the dynamic of water status on soil and the plant, allowing by the fact to avoid high sophisticated monitoring and high costly tools measurements.


Deficit irrigation, Potato, modeling, semi-arid climate, transpiration, modeling, water balance.

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