Coupling and testing a new soil water module in DSSAT CERES-Maize model for maize production under semi-arid condition

Hamze Dokoohaki, Mahdi Gheysari, Sayed Farhad Mousavi, Shahrokh Zand-Parsa, Fernando E. Miguez, Sotirios V. Archontoulis, Gerrit Hoogenboom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Process-oriented crop simulation models are valuable tools for representing our understanding of the current and future states of a cropping system. The main objective of this research was to couple the Cropping System Model-(CSM)-Crop-Environment Resource Synthesis (CERES)-Maize (CSM-CERES-Maize) with the Soil, Water, Atmosphere, and Plant (SWAP) model in order to benefit from the advantages of both models. A new model was developed by replacing a simplified version of the SWAP with WatBal and SPAM modules of the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) version 4.0. In this hybrid model, the CERES-Maize supplied the SWAP model with plant growth variables. Meanwhile, the SWAP model provided the CERES-Maize model with daily evapotranspiration, soil water content, and root water uptake. The model was then validated with a dataset including four irrigation levels (two deficit levels along with one full and one over-irrigation level), and three nitrogen levels (0, 150, and 200. kg/ha nitrogen) obtained from a field experiment in 2003 and 2004. The root mean square errors (RMSE) across all treatments in the simulation of final biomass were, respectively, 1175 and 2148. kg/ha in the first year and 1274 and 1514. kg/ha in the second year for the hybrid and original version of CERES-Maize model. Average RMSE for two non-water stress treatments was 1.29 and 1.35. cm in the simulation of soil water content for hybrid and original models, respectively. In general, our findings indicated that the new hybrid model was fairly successful in biomass simulation, which was due to better soil water simulations of all four irrigation levels except severe deficit irrigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-99
Number of pages10
JournalAgricultural Water Management
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • CERES-Maize-hbased
  • Hybrid model
  • Maize
  • SWAP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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