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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  701P0304,  . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15747)
Authors:   L. Mueller, A. Behrendt, G. Schalitz, U. Schindler
Keywords:   Lowland soils, water table, evapotranspiration, water use efficiency, subirrigation

The study investigated evapotranspiration (ET) and water use efficiency (WUE) on sites of shallow water tables. This contribution was aimed to provide data for soil water modeling and water management planning.

Based on a long-term study of groundwater lysimeters in the vicinity of Berlin, Germany, the total ET, the proportion of ground water supply and the water use efficiency of different plants, crops and soils were quantified in the vegetation period from April to October. The climate is characterized by a mean temperature of 8.4 C and an annual precipitation of 500 to 600 mm.

ET of groundwater (= subirrigation rate) strongly depended on water table depths, crops and soil texture and showed large variability between different years due to weather conditions. Spring barley consumed 10-60 mm of groundwater, winter wheat 20-250 mm, pasture and meadow grasses 80-300 mm, maize 100-400 mm, reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) 400-900 mm, sedges 600-1000 mm and common reed 700-1400 mm.

Plant type associated with appropriate water table depth, fertilization level and soil fertility were crucial factors of WUE. Results showed possible high dry matter yields at all water table levels but increasing WUE with deeper water table. Maize had highest WUE with 4 -6 g dry matter per litre of water, followed by winter wheat, with a WUE of about 3. Wetland plants also produced high amounts of biomass but consumed more water. Common reed and sedges had a WUE of 1.2 and reed canary grass had a WUE of about 1.1.

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