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Determination of hydraulic properties of soils in the State of São Paulo and their agro-hydrological interpretation

Grant number: 22/00853-2
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: June 01, 2022 - March 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Soil Science
Principal researcher:Quirijn de Jong van Lier
Grantee:Quirijn de Jong van Lier
Home Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil


There is a lack of information on the fundamental hydraulic properties, conductivity and retention, of Brazilian soils, essential in hydrological modeling and in the quantification of plant available water. Previous projects were carried out aiming to advance in the techniques of determination and interpretation of these hydraulic properties. In this context and in continuity, the present proposal aims to determine the hydraulic properties (retention and hydraulic conductivity) in the entire range of agronomic interest (from saturation to permanent wilting point and beyond), in two layers of twenty soils in the State of São Paulo, using methodology developed in previous projects based on several instruments, each one suitable for a certain range of potentials. Special emphasis will be given to the determination and preservation of uncertainties and correlations between the determined parameters, allowing their propagation in the final modeling and interpretation results. The hydraulic parameters obtained will be added to the database of hydraulic properties of Brazilian soils HYBRAS. From the determined hydraulic properties, it is proposed to estimate the characteristic hydraulic conditions (field capacity, limiting condition and permanent wilting condition) by interpreting the corresponding dynamic processes (drainage and root water uptake), using the methodology developed in a previous project. For scenarios with the evaluated soils and with meteorological data from three climatic zones of the state, agro-hydrological simulations will be carried out to obtain the components of the water balance to evaluate the water use efficiency in specific conditions of an annual crop (soybean) and sugar cane, including the stochastic analysis of its uncertainties. As a scientific contribution, this project will contribute to research in soil physics and transfer processes in the soil-plant-atmosphere system, especially contributing to the improvement of the determination of soil hydraulic properties and to the intensification of their determination, to advance in the understanding of plant water availability as a function of soil hydraulic properties, and advancing in the interpretation of hydraulic properties through hydrological modeling resources, paying attention to the inclusion of statistics associated with the determination of soil hydraulic parameters. (AU)

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