Title: APES: Agricultural Production and Externalities Simulator
Authors: DONATELLI MarcelloRUSSELL GrahamRIZZOLI Andrea
Publisher: Springer
Publication Year: 2010
JRC N°: JRC42961
ISBN: 978-90-4813618-6
URI: http://www.springer.com/life+sciences/agriculture/book/978-90-481-3618-6
DOI: 10.1007/978-90-4813618-6
Type: Articles in books
Abstract: Several simulation tools allow studying the impact of agricultural management on production activities in specific environments. Such tools are specialized, to different extents, to specific production activities: arable crops/cropping systems, grassland, orchards, agro-forestry, livestock etc. Also, their focus includes to various levels the estimate of system externalities which may have a negative environmental impact. Furthermore, the structure of such systems does neither allow an easy plug-in of modules for different agricultural production activities, nor the use of different approaches for the simulation of processes via alternate components. Finally, such systems are proprietary systems of either research groups or projects. The EU Sixth Framework Research Programme SEAMLESS project aims at providing a tool to integrate analyses of impacts on a wide range of aspects of sustainability and multi-functionality. This requires evaluating agricultural production and system externalities for the most important agricultural production systems. It also requires the availability of a simulation framework which can be extended and updated by research teams with possibly different expertise, which allows a manageable transfer of research results to operational tools, and which is transparent with respect to its contents and its functionality. The Agricultural Production and Externalities Simulator (APES) is a modular simulation system aimed at meeting these requirements, and targeted at estimating the biophysical behavior of agricultural production systems in response to the interaction of weather and different options of agro-technical management. APES is an application which uses several components being developed to offer simulation options for different processes of relevance in agricultural production systems. Models are described in the associated help files of components, and a shared ontology is built on the web. Components, which are designed to be inherently re-usable, that is, not targeted specifically to a given modelling framework, are also meant to be a concrete option to share modelling knowledge with other projects and the scientific community. APES includes also several applications and tools, targeted either to APES use or to components development. This chapter describes the current state of APES development and presents modeling options in the system and its software architecture.
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