Newsletter of Agro-ecosystems Modelling.

M.C.Plentinger AB-DLO tel:08370-75961 M.C.PLENTINGER at AB.AGRO.NL
Thu Apr 14 03:57:14 EST 1994


For your information:

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                             N E W S L E T T E R

                                     O F

                        A G R O - E C O S Y S T E M S

                             M O D E L L I N G

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    Published by AB-DLO                                 March 1994, No.1
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    \==================================================================\
    \                                                                  \
    \                            CONTENTS                              \
    \                                                                  \
    \                REGISTER OF AGRO-ECOSYSTEMS MODELS                \
    \                          ANNOUNCEMENTS                           \
    \                        UPCOMING MEETINGS                         \
    \                            NEW BOOKS                             \
    \                     THE MARKET PLACE, WITH:                      \
    \       MODELLING AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN WAGENINGEN       \
    \==================================================================\

    ====================================================================
    EDITORIAL

    CAMASE_NEWS is a new Newsletter. It is aimed at scientists
    interested in modelling in agro-ecosystems, and should improve
    their access to appropriate models, data, and related tools,
    instruction materials. Initially, we focus at EU-12 scientists.

    CAMASE_NEWS will provide short, informative messages on modelling
    and simulation issues and developments, a report on progress in
    the model register (more below) and other data bases,
    announcements, and calls for collaboration. Hard copies and
    electronic copies of CAMASE_NEWS are distributed every quarter to
    those on our mailing list (already over 100 names). The Newsletter
    is also available through the SURFNET distribution list 'CAMASE-L';
    back dated issues and specific items can be retrieved with
    keywords.

    CAMASE_NEWS is the result of an initiative of the 1992 workshop on
    Modelling and Agroclimatology of the European Society for
    Agronomy, and is supported by a grant of the European Union for
    the Concerted Action to stimulate development and testing of
    quantitative Methods for research on Agricultural Systems and the
    Environment (CAMASE).

    Our thanks are due to ESA, for help in producing the initial mailing
    list, and to Ruud Verkerke, for the design of CAMASE_NEWS.

                                                 Frits Penning de Vries,
                                                        Marja Plentinger
    ====================================================================

                                 *   *   *

                   THE REGISTER OF AGRO-ECOSYSTEMS MODELS

                              k e y w o r d s:
                     s i m u l a t i o n, m o d e l s,
                       m o d e l l i n g  t o o l s,
                             d a t a  b a s e,
                      s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n

    CAMASE is setting up a register of models. We will attempt to
    catalogue most of the relevant simulation models for research,
    education and application used in Europe in the broad area of crop
    production, nutrient cycling, farming systems, and of many of the
    shells and tools for modelling. In this way, we intend
    - to increase awareness among scientists of existing models;
    - to increase accessibility of these models;
    - to stimulate harmonization and compatibility of models by example.
    In the register, every model is described in a fixed format in
    about one page. It will have the form of a computerized data base
    of model profiles, accessible through a network. Initially the
    information from the Register will be free.
    The next issue of CAMASE_NEWS will introduce the Register
    properly, with an example. We hope that you will share with us and
    other European colleagues the information about your models.


                             *   *   *

                           ANNOUNCEMENTS

                          k e y w o r d s:
                C A M A S E,  c o r e  g r o u p s,
        p r o d u c t i o n  s y s t e m s  r e s e a r c h,
              m o d e l l i n g, n e w s l e t t e r,
         r e g i s t e r, d i s t r i b u t i o n l i s t

    CAMASE is an EU-supported concerted action of five European groups
    that are leading in the area of production systems research. The
    core groups for CAMASE are:
    - the Copenhagen research team (Denmark): leadings drs. Niels Erik
      Nielsen, Soren Hansen, Henry E. Jensen (The Royal Veterinary and
      Agricultural University); strength in modelling nitrogen losses
      and crop growth and production.
    - the Toulouse research team (France): leading dr. Philippe Debaeke
      and Mr. Maurice Cabelguenne, Institute National de la Recherche
      Agronomique; strength in modelling crop production systems.
    - the Cordoba research team (Spain), leading dr. Francisco
      Villalobos (Universidad de Cordoba, Dept. Agronomy) and dr.
      Luciano Mateos (CSIC, Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible);
      strength in modelling irrigation systems.
    - the Edinburgh research team (U.K.): leading prof.dr. Barry Dent
      and dr. Graham Russell, University of Edinburgh; strength in farm
      household modelling and expert systems.
    - the Wageningen research teams (The Netherlands), coordinated by
      dr. Peter Leffelaar (Agricultural University, Theoretical
      Production Ecology), dr. Aad van Wijk (DLO-Winand Staring Centre)
      and dr. Frits Penning de Vries (DLO-Institute for Agrobiology and
      Soil Fertility Research); strengths in modeling crop and soil
      processes, dynamics of pests and weeds, crop production systems,
      methodology, training.

    The objectives of CAMASE are to advance quantitative research on
    agricultural systems and their environment in the EU-countries, by
    improving systems research in participating institutes through
    exchange and standardization of concepts, approaches, knowledge,
    computer programs and data. Specific objective are:
    - to produce a newsletter
    - to produce a model register
    - to stimulate research on production systems.
    CAMASE started in November 1993, and has been funded for three
    years. Marja Plentinger and Frits Penning de Vries coordinate the
    project. We held our first workshop with core teams in December,
    where plans were developed to achieve the three objectives. The
    ESA-congress provides a good opportunity to review the first
    issues of the Newsletter and the first versions of the Register.

    DISTRIBUTION LIST. We received requests for copies of the
    CAMASE_NEWS mailing list. Please let us know if you prefer that
    your name is excluded from such copies.


                             *   *   *

                         UPCOMING MEETINGS

    - International Symposium on Fingered Flow in Unsaturated Soil: from
    Field to Model. DLO-Winand Staring Centre, Wageningen, 20 April
    1994.
    Contact: Drs. C.J. Ritsema, DLO-Winand Staring Centre, P.O.Box 125,
    6700 AC Wageningen, The Netherlands
    Telephone: +31-8370-74266
    Telefax: +31-8370-24812

    - Ecology and Modelling of Potato Crops under Conditions Limiting
    Growth. Summer School, Second International Modelling Conference
    17, 18 and 19 May 1994.
    Contact: dr. A.J. Haverkort, Department of Crop Physiology, DLO-
    Research Institute for Agrobiology and Soil Fertility, P.O. Box 14
    6700 AA  Wageningen, The Netherlands
    Telephone: +31-8370-75855
    Telefax: +31-8370-23110
    or: dr. J. Vos, Department of Agronomy, Agricultural University,
    Haarweg 333, 6709 RZ  Wageningen, The Netherlands
    Telephone: +31-8370-83042
    Telefax: +31-8370-84575

    - The Third International Conference for Systems Integration. Sao
    Paulo City - Brazil. July 30 th - August 6th 1994.
    Contact: Prof. Peter A. Ng, IIISis -USA Office- New Jersey Inst.
    of Technology, University of Heights, Newark, NJ 07102 USA
    Telephone: (1)(201) 596-3387
    Telefax: (1)(201) 596-5777
    Or: Prof. Fuad Gattaz Sobrinho
    Telephone: (55)(192) 41-4504
    Telefax: (55)(192) 41-3098

    - Scenario Studies for the Rural Environment. 5th anniversary
    symposium of the DLO-Winand Staring Centre. Wageningen, 12-15
    September 1994.
    Themes: Regional soil and water management, nature development and
    landscape quality, and impact of scenario studies on land use
    planning.
    Contact: dr. J.F.T. Schoute, DLO Winand Staring Centre, P.O. Box
    125, 6700 AC Wageningen, The Netherlands
    Telephone: +31-8370-74274
    Telefax: +31-8370-24812

    - The third Congress of the European Society for Agronomy will be
    held at the Teatro Congressi of Abano Terme (Padova), 18-22
    September, 1994. Special workshops on Modeling and
    Agroclimatology.
    Contact (Secretariat): SISTEMA CONGRESSI, Via Jappelini 12, 35121
    PADOVA, ITALY
    Telephone: +39-49-651699
    Telefax: +39-49-651320

                             *   *   *

                             NEW BOOKS

    - AARD/LAWOO. 1993. Acid Sulphate Soils in the Humid Tropics:
    simulation model of physical and chemical processes to evaluate
    water management strategies. Final Report Res. Progr. Acid
    Sulphate Soils in the Humid Tropics, vol 3. Agency for
    Agricultural Research and Development (AARD), Jakarta and Land and
    Water Research Group (LAWOO), Wageningen. 248 pp..
    - Goudriaan, J., S.C. van de Geijn & J.S.I. Ingram (Eds.), 1993.
    GCTE Focus 3 Wheat Modelling and Experimental Data Comparison
    Workshop Report. Lunteren, Netherlands 2-4 November 1993. GCTE
    (Global Change & Terrestrial Ecosystems).
    - Hansen, S., H.E. Jensen, N.E. Nielsen & H. Svendsen, 1994. The
    Soil Plant System Model DAISY: Basic principles and modelling
    approach. Jordbrugsforlaget. The Royal Vetenary and Agricultur
    University, Thorvaldsensvej 40, DK-1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark,
    pp. 137, DEK 100,00.
    - Kropff, M.J. & H.H. van Laar (eds.), 1993. Modelling crop - weed
    interactions. Wallingford: CAB International. 274 p..
    - Leffelaar, P.A. (Ed.), 1993. On systems analysis and simulation of
    ecological processes. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht,
    Netherlands 308 pp..
    - Nonhebel, S., 1993. The importance of weather data in crop growth
    simulation models and assessment of climatic change effects. PhD
    thesis, Wageningen Agricultural University. 144 pp..
    - Noij, I.G.A.M., B.H. Janssen, L.G. Wesselink & J.J.M. van
    Grinsven, 1993. Modeling Nutrient and Moisture Cycling in Tropical
    Forests. The Tropenbos Foundation. Wageningen. 195 pp.
    ISBN 90-5113-016-3.
    - Rossing, W.A.H., 1993. On damage, uncertainty and risk in
    supervised control: aphids and brown rust in winter wheat as an
    example. PhD thesis, Wageningen Agricultural University. 201 pp..
    - Smaling, E., 1993. An agro-ecological framework for integrated
    nutrient management, with special reference to Kenya. PhD thesis,
    Wageningen Agricultural University. 250 pp..
    - Teng, P.S. & F. Penning de Vries (eds.), 1992. Systems approaches
    for agricultural development. Agricultural Systems 40, vols 1-3.
    309 pp..
    - Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid., 1992. Ground for
    Choices. Four perspectives for the rural areas of the European
    Community. Reports to the Government, 42.The Hague, SDU
    Uitgeverij. SSN 0169-6734; 42. 149 pp. ( also in French).
    - Wopereis, M.C.S., 1993. Quantifying the impact of soil and climate
    variability on rainfed rice production. PhD thesis, Wageningen
    Agricultural University. 188 pp..


                             *   *   *

                         THE MARKET PLACE

    Do you feel that research of your team is insufficiently known? In
    this section, we welcome a short description of your systems
    research group. Descriptions of the CAMASE core groups are already
    lined up for this and upcoming issues.
    We will also welcome offers of specific expertise or data, and
    calls for the same.

    MODELLING AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN WAGENINGEN
    'Wageningen' harbours the Agricultural University (WAU) with 60
    Departments, and 16 large Institutes of the Agricultural Research
    Department (in Dutch: DLO) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature
    and Fisheries. Over the past two decades, many scientists of these
    organizations adopted systems analysis and modelling as a part of
    their research and teaching in crop, soil and animal science and
    agrosystems research. Hundreds of papers and tens of models and
    documents have been published. After recent reorganizations, three
    groups emerged that are particularly active in this area: the
    Research Institute for Agrobiology and Soil Fertility (AB-DLO),
    formerly the CABO (Wageningen) and the IB (Haren), the graduate
    school Production Ecology (PE-WAU) and the DLO-Winand Staring
    Centre (SC-DLO). These groups participate in CAMASE, are very
    interested to share results and experiences with colleagues in
    Europe, and are eager to learn from you. Please write or e_mail us
    if you feel like it.

    Major publications from Wageningen modelers are found in the
    series Simulation Monographs (publisher: PUDOC, Wageningen: 30
    volumes), and CABO-TPE Simulation Reports (35 issues). The second
    series is continuing (address: as for this Newsletter), the first
    is succeeded by two new series: 'Current Issues in Production
    Ecology', and 'Systems Approaches for sustainable Agricultural
    Systems', both by Kluwer, Dordrecht, the Netherlands. Available
    issues from these series will be listed in the next CAMASE_NEWS.
    The group further provides teaching programs, computer aided
    instructions, PhD and MSc programs in Crop and Plant Sciences, and
    other training programs in The Netherlands and abroad. For further
    information, contact dr. Frits Penning de Vries at AB-DLO
    (P.O.Box 14, 6700 AA, Wageningen), dr. Peter Leffelaar at PE-WAU
    (P.O.Box 430, 6700 AK Wageningen), or dr. Aad van Wijk at SC-DLO
    (P.O. Box 125, 6700 AC, Wageningen).

    Over 50 scientists collaborate in Wageningen in an informal
    simulation group on a range of topics. They use many different
    models, many of which stem from a common base.
    Current activities of AB-DLO and PE-WAU address production and
    environmental issues in natural and agricultural ecosystems at
    integration levels with time coefficients of hours (plants,
    pests), days (soils, crops) and years (production systems). The
    research is to improve understanding of systems, but also leads to
    designing of  improved systems and their optimization. Activities
    include the development, testing and documentation of:
    - standard modules for crop, soil and pest modelling;
    - a 'simulation environment' or 'shell' for use with the standard
      modules per se and in cropping systems research, plus user
      friendly documentation;
    - a method for in-depth analysis of the inherent accuracy of crop
      modelling, and consequences of parameter uncertainty;
    - more computer aided instructions programs on systems analysis and
      crop modelling, and other training materials for use at MSc, PhD
      and post doc levels;
    - simulation models of competition between plants (and trees) for
      the capture of the essential resources for plant growth (i.e.
      light, water and nutrients).
    The research SC-DLO focuses on problems of physical planning,
    environmental protection and water management in rural areas to
    support well-balanced decision making. Agro-ecosystem modelling
    activities are on:
    - transport of water and substances (nutrients and pesticides) in
      soils;
    - soil-water-plant-atmosphere relationships;
    - regional modelling: unsaturated zone models linking regional
      ground and surface water models.
    The scale of model application ranges from field to regional
    level. Fields of application are land evaluation (crops, pasture,
    forestry); water management (interactions agriculture-nature-
    ground water resources, drainage, irrigation); soil protection/
    environmental impact studies (soil acidification, emissions of
    nutrients and pesticides to ground and surface waters); scenario
    studies for rural land use and environmental problems.

    Many of the Wageningen models were written in the simulation
    language CSMP, and later PCSMP for PC's. Most models are now
    produced in FORTRAN, within a framework called FSE ( the FORTRAN
    Simulation Environment) that ensures standardization and
    compatibility. A translator has been developed to translate simple
    CSMP models into modules for FSE, so that the advantages for
    teaching of a real simulation language are retained. This
    standardization of models and modelling approaches is expected to
    continue.
    Interesting developments occur in the field of linear programming.
    LP-models exist to optimize production of milk, tulip bulbs (how
    very Dutch!) and arable crops on farms. It is also being applied
    to optimization of land use in developing countries, and the
    European Community. An essential feature of the method is that
    consequences of conflicting goals, such as maximizing crop
    production and minimizing NH3-loss and pesticide use, can be
    compared objectively. The method is referred to as 'multiple goal
    linear programming', and helps to quantify options for integrated
    agricultural production.

    Another important line of research aims to couple Geographic
    Information Systems with crop and soil models. While this is
    proceeding quite well at a technical level, there are important
    issues of aggregation, spatial heterogeneity and data scarcity
    that require careful analysis.


    ====================================================================
    CAMASE: A CONCERTED ACTION FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING OF
    QUANTITATIVE METHODS FOR RESEARCH ON AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS AND THE
    ENVIRONMENT.

    The objectives of CAMASE are to advance quantitative research on
    agricultural systems and their environment in the EU-countries, by
    improving systems research in participating institutes through
    exchange and standardization of concepts, approaches, knowledge,
    computer programs and data.
    CAMASE relates to a small network of research groups, and a broad
    group of scientists receiving information. The network consists of
    scientists from five groups in Europe: Denmark (Royal Veterinary
    and Agricultural University, Copenhagen), France (Institute
    Nationale de la Recherche Agronomique, Toulouse), Spain (Cordoba
    University, Cordoba), Scotland (Institute of Ecology and Resource
    Management, Edinburgh) and The Netherlands (AB-DLO , TPE-WAU and
    SC-DLO, Wageningen).

    With CAMASE_NEWS, we aim to improve communication among scientists
    working in agro-ecosystem modelling and interested in better
    access to appropriate models, data, and related tools, instruction
    materials. CAMASE-core groups and others can contribute
    spontaneously or will be invited to contribute. Responsibility for
    the opinions expressed rests with the authors.

    CAMASE_NEWS will appear four times per year. Please submit news
    items for CAMASE_NEWS and requests for new subscriptions to:

    F.W.T. Penning de Vries/M.C. Plentinger
    DLO-Research Institute for Agrobiology and Soil Fertility (AB-DLO)
    P.O.Box 14
    6700 AA  WAGENINGEN
    The Netherlands
    Telephone: +31.8370.75961
    Telefax: +31.8370.23110
    Internet: camase at ab.agro.nl

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