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Xuewen Gong, Shunsheng Wang, Cundong Xu, Hao Zhang, and Jiankun Ge

Studies on dual crop coefficient method in a greenhouse require accurate values of reference evapotranspiration (ETo). This study was conducted in a solar greenhouse at the experimental station of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences during 2015 and 2016. An automatic weather station was installed in the center of the same greenhouse to record weather parameters at 30-minute intervals. Five ETo models (Penman-Monteith, Penman, radiation, pan evaporation, and Priestley-Taylor) were employed, and their performance was evaluated using the dual crop coefficient method. The basal crop coefficient K cb and soil evaporation coefficient K e were adjusted according to the surrounding climate inside the greenhouse. Crop evapotranspiration (ETc) was continuously measured using sap flow system combined with microlysimeter in 2015 and weighing lysimeters in 2016. Daily ETo was simulated from the five models and compared with the measurements. Results show that the adjusted K cb values were 0.15, 0.94, and 0.65 in 2015 and 0.15, 1.02, and 0.70 in 2016 at initial, midseason, and late-season, respectively. The K e varies between 0.10 and 0.45 during the whole growth period. The ETc was ≈345 mm for drip-irrigated tomato in solar greenhouse at the whole growth stage. The radiation and pan evaporation models tend to overestimate ETo values. Results of the Penman-Monteith, Penman, and Priestley-Taylor models show comparatively good performance in estimating ETo. Considering the robustness and simplicity, the Priestley-Taylor was recommended as the first choice to estimate ETo of tomato grown in a solar greenhouse. This work can help farmers to optimize the irrigation scheduling based on an ETo model for solar greenhouse vegetables in northern China.