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Updated European hydraulic pedotransfer functions with communicated uncertainties in the predicted variables (euptfv2)

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Soil hydraulic properties are often derived indirectly, i.e. computed from easily available soil properties with pedotransfer functions (PTFs), when those are needed for catchment, regional or continental scale applications. When predicted soil hydraulic parameters are used for the modelling of the state and flux of water in soils, uncertainty of the computed values can provide more detailed information when drawing conclusions. The aim of this study was to update the previously published European PTFs (Tóth et al., 2015, euptf v1.4.0) by providing prediction uncertainty calculation built into the transfer functions. The new set of algorithms was derived for point predictions of soil water content at saturation (0 cm matric potential head), field capacity (both −100 and −330 cm matric potential head), wilting point (−15 000 cm matric potential head), plant available water, and saturated hydraulic conductivity, as well as the Mualem–van Genuchten model parameters of the moisture retention and hydraulic conductivity curve. The minimum set of input properties for the prediction is soil depth and sand, silt and clay content. The effect of including additional information like soil organic carbon content, bulk density, calcium carbonate content, pH and cation exchange capacity were extensively analysed. The PTFs were derived adopting the random forest method. The advantage of the new PTFs is that they (i) provide information about prediction uncertainty, (ii) are significantly more accurate than the euptfv1, (iii) can be applied for more predictor variable combinations than the euptfv1, 32 instead of 5, and (iv) are now also derived for the prediction of water content at −100 cm matric potential head and plant available water content. A practical guidance on how to use the derived PTFs is provided.