A Numerical Simulation Model for Highbush Blueberry Under Drought Stress

This investigation considered the problem of determining irrigation conditions under which the impact of water deficit stress on a blueberry plant would be minimal. Specifically, and as a first methodological step, we solved the problem of simulating numerically the soil-water-plant system, assuming a scenario of water stress resulting from drought. The main justification for this investigation is the difficulty of obtaining experimental data, and the almost total absence of applications of this methodology to stress conditions for this crop. The simulations are based on the Richards equation with an explicit term, which models blueberry root water uptake, and were executed with HYDRUS-1D software. This software, the Richards equation, and the numerical values used have been widely validated by agronomists in experimental studies of similar crops. Two soil types were simulated: a clay soil and a sandy loam. It was possible to simulate realistic irrigation conditions for a blueberry crop in a scenario of water stress resulting from drought. The results obtained provided sufficient justification of the methodology for subsequent application in field studies.

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