New generation of hydraulic pedotransfer functions for Europe

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A range of continental-scale soil datasets exists in Europe with different spatial representation and based on different principles. We developed comprehensive pedotransfer functions (PTFs) for applications principally on spatial datasets with continental coverage. The PTF development included the prediction of soil water retention at various matric potentials and prediction of parameters to characterize soil moisture retention and the hydraulic conductivity curve (MRC and HCC) of European soils. We developed PTFs with a hierarchical approach, determined by the input requirements. The PTFs were derived by using three statistical methods: (i) linear regression where there were quantitative input variables, (ii) a regression tree for qualitative, quantitative and mixed types of information and (iii) mean statistics of developer-defined soil groups (class PTF) when only qualitative input parameters were available. Data of the recently established European Hydropedological Data Inventory (EU-HYDI), which holds the most comprehensive geographical and thematic coverage of hydro-pedological data in Europe, were used to train and test the PTFs. The applied modelling techniques and the EU-HYDI allowed the development of hydraulic PTFs that are more reliable and applicable for a greater variety of input parameters than those previously available for Europe. Therefore the new set of PTFs offers tailored advanced tools for a wide range of applications in the continent.

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