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ITRoot : Improving Transpiration and Root water uptake predictions under drought: a comparison of modeling and experimental efforts

Abstract

Finding optimal water and soil management practices to sustain food production under a changing climate is a common challenge for Belgium and Brazil. In Belgium, the drought of the summer of 2022 has shown the huge importance of irrigation to support crop yield. Yet, Belgian irrigation is still in its infancy, in particular in Wallonia, and this proposal will increase our understanding of the best approaches to predict plant water demand. Differently, Brazil has a large irrigated area and decades of experience in irrigation projects, and an increase in the associated water use efficiency would lead to great water savings. The Belgian and Brazilian teams involved in this project have both international recognition for their excellence in soil-plant research with specific experimental platforms and modelling approaches in each country. The objective of this proposal is to compare and combine modelling and experimental approaches from both teams to improve our projections of root water uptake and transpiration reduction under drought. On longer term, this will help develop more optimal, less demanding irrigation procedures and thereby improving water use efficiency and reducing environmental pressure from irrigated agriculture. (AU)

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