Title: Possibilities and Limitations of AVSWAT2000 for the Assessment of Environmental Impacts of Farming Practices
Citation: Proceedings of the 4th International SWAT Conference - Book of Abstracts p. 4
Publisher: UNESCO
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC38150
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC38150
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Farming practices (FP) affect the transport and fate of water, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, pesticide and other bio-geo-chemical substances in agricultural watersheds. We used the AVSWAT2000-modelling framework to assess environmental impacts of an array of FP and evaluated its possibilities and limitations for this purpose. We mainly considered FP which are important in the context of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy: diversification of crop rotations, introduction of cover crops, shift to zero-tillage, shift to organic fertilization, afforestation. We calibrated SWAT for total discharge in a medium-sized, almost flat, semi-rural watershed taking into account current FP. Next we simulated 11 land use and land management scenarios involving the selected FP. We finally compared the scenarios in terms of the modeled discharge at the outlet and the soil organic carbon stocks of HRU. Although the relative simulation results are largely according to expectation, we found that the plant growth and management modules of AVSWAT2000 are not fully operational to efficiently and realistically parameterize and evaluate the impacts of FP. We identified the simulation of biomass development over time, the computation of a true carbon balance, the handling of crop rotations and the definition of the till-operation to be among the major points of attention for improving AVSWAT2000’s capabilities in dealing with FP and their environmental effects.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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