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Measurement and estimation of plastic greenhouse reference evapotranspiration in a Mediterranean climate

AuthorsFernández-Romero, María Dolores; Bonachela, Santiago ; Orgaz Rosua, Francisco ; Thompson, R.; López, Juan Carlos; Granados, M. R.; Gallardo, Marisa; Fereres Castiel, Elías
Issue DateSep-2010
CitationIrrigation Science 28(6): 497-509 (2010)
AbstractThe standard FAO methodology for the determination of crop water requirements uses the product of reference evapotranspiration (ETo) and crop coefficient values. This methodology can be also applied to soil-grown plastic greenhouse crops, which occupy extended areas in the Mediterranean basin, but there are few data assessing methodologies for estimating ETo in plastic greenhouses. Free-drainage lysimeters were used between 1993 and 2004 to measure ETo inside a plastic greenhouse with a perennial grass in Almería, south-eastern Spain. Mean daily measured greenhouse ETo ranged from values slightly less than 1 mm day-1 during winter to values of approximately 4 mm day-1 during summer in July. When the greenhouse surface was whitened from March to September (a common practice to control temperature), measured ETo was reduced by an average of 21.4%. Different methodologies to calculate ETo were checked against the measurements in the greenhouse without and with whitening. The methods that performed best in terms of accuracy and statistics were: FAO56 Penman-Monteith with a fixed aerodynamic resistance of 150 s m-1, FAO24 Pan Evaporation with a constant Kp of 0.79, a locally-calibrated radiation method and Hargreaves. Given the data requirements of the different methods, the Hargreaves and the radiation methods are recommended for the calculation of greenhouse ETo because of their simplicity. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s00271-010-0210-z
issn: 0342-7188
e-issn: 1432-1319
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