Operating a Process-based Simulation Model within a User-friendly Windows Environment to Predict the Transpiration and Photosynthesis of Red Maple Trees

in HortScience
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  • 1 1Clemson University, Horticulture, 176 Poole Ag. Center, Clemson, SC, 29634-0319
  • | 2 2USDA–ARS, Crops Systems and Global Change Laboratory, Beltsville, MD, 20705
  • | 3 3USDA–ARS, Environmental Microbial Safety Laboratory, Beltsville, MD, 20705
  • | 4 Clemson University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Clemson, SC, 29634-0319

Application of process-based models beyond the research community has been limited, in part because they do not operate in a user-friendly Windows environment. We describe the procedure of adapting a spatially explicit biological-process model, MAESTRA, to run in a standard graphical user interface (GUI). The methods used to adapt the MAESTRA model are generally applicable to other process-based models and therefore simplify other coupling attempts. We discuss recommendations based on our experiences for model input structure and interface design, two components that will allow various models to work with a generic interface. MAESTRA uses modified versions of the Ball-Berry stomatal conductance (gs) and Farquhar photosynthesis(Anet) models to estimate transpiration and photosynthesis on a leaf area basis and scale the sunlit and shaded fractions to the whole tree. We present MAESTRA estimates within a standardized graphical user interface for crop simulators (GUICS) windows environment and furthermore, we provide dialog boxes and graphical displays of the MAESTRA model input and whole tree output for red maple trees. In so doing, we present a technology transfer via the GUICS that prevents any watering down of the science behind the MAESTRA model, yet allows an accurate decision support tool to reach a wide audience.

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