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A simple model simulating development and growth of an olive grove

Moriondo, M., Leolini, L., Brilli, L., Dibari, C., Tognetti, R., Giovannelli, A., Rapi, B., Battista, P., Caruso, G., Gucci, R., Argenti, G., Raschi, A., Centritto, M., Cantini, C., Bindi, M.
European journal of agronomy 2019
Olea europaea, agroecosystems, biomass production, crop yield, data collection, dry matter partitioning, economic sustainability, grasses, growth and development, heat, heat stress, olives, phenology, simulation models, soil types, water stress, Italy
This paper describes the architecture of a process-based model that simulates on a daily time step growth and development of an olive agroecosystem, including the olive tree and grass cover growth and their competition for water. The key process of the model is the simulation of daily potential biomass increase for olive tree and grass cover that may be reduced depending on water availability. The model includes a phenological sub-model simulating the sequence of olive tree vegetative and reproductive stages for determining changes in biomass allocation and the timing of possible environmental stresses (heat and water stress) that may reduce final yield.The model was calibrated and validated in Tuscany region by exploiting a data set covering heterogeneous climatic features as well as soil types and management practices existing in this region. The results pointed out that the model is able to faithfully reproduce water balance of the system, biomass accumulation and yield of olive tree and grass cover biomass. We concluded that this model is a useful prognostic tool to test the effectiveness of management practices for improving economic viability of olive tree cultivation.