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CGMS soil Suitability Criteria

Current situation

Besides the simulation of crop growth, soil information is used in CGMS to create a ‘land use probability map’ defining which crops have to be included in the simulation for a given soil unit. Ideally, this decision would be taken on the basis of actual land-use information, but a European-wide detailed classification of land cover is not available. Hence, within the CGMS the decision is simply based on the soil suitability of the different crops: if at least part of the soil mapping unit (one or more STUs) is deemed appropriate then the simulation will be performed. The result of this strategy is that the yield figures produced by the CGMS are assessed for suitable soils only.

Suitable soils are determined per crop group on the basis of crop growth limiting properties of these soils. The limiting soil properties are:

The slope, texture and phase data can be obtained directly from the soil database, while rooting depth, drainage conditions, salinity and alkalinity have to be derived from basic soil properties using PTR (see chapter 4 and 6).


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MARS STATEuropean Commission Directorate General Joint Research CentreIES - Institute for Environment and Sustainability IPSC - Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen