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Assessing drought Vulnerability of Bulgarian Agriculture through Model Simulations

Authors: Z. Popova, L. S. Pereira, М. Ivanova, P. Alexandrova, K. Doneva, V. Alexandrov, M. Kercheva


This study assesses the vulnerability of Bulgarian agriculture to drought using the WINISAREG model and seasonal standard precipitation index SPI(2) for the period 1951-2004. This model was previously validated for maize on soils of different water holding capacity (TAW) in various locations. Simulations are performed for Plovdiv, Stara Zagora and Sofia. Results relative to Plovdiv show that in soils of large TAW (180 mm m-1) net irrigation requirements (NIRs) range 0-40 mm in wet years and 350-380 mm in dry years. In soils of small TAW (116 mm m-1), NIRs reach 440 mm in the very dry year. NIRs in Sofia are about 80 mm smaller. Rainfed maize is associated with great yield variability (29%91%) were found for seasonal agricultural drought relating the SPI (2) for “July-Aug" with the simulated RYD of rainfed maize while in Stara Zagora and Sofia the relationships are less accurate (R2>71%). When rainfed maize is grown on soils of large TAW economical losses are produced when high peak season SPI (2) < -0.50 in Plovdiv/Stara Zagora and SPI (2) < -0.90 in Sofia. The corresponding NIR thresholds were identified.

Keywords: Drought vulnerability, ISAREG simulation model, South Bulgaria, SPI-index

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