Specialized software, which is part of the Ecohydrological Stress tool, allows the user to derive and apply process-based habitat factors of soil moisture, i.e. drought stress and oxygen stress. 

These are indispensable for (climate-) robust ecohydrological impact assessments, for instance, when the Probe ecohydrological prediction model is applied. Probe predicts vegetation characteristics and the occurrence probabilities of vegetation types as functions of oxygen stress (OS) and drought stress (DS).

Ecohydrological Stress benefits:

  • Calculation of drought stress and oxygen stress, which are better predictors of vegetation than are groundwater levels.
  • A good foundation for policy analysis and the assessment of adaptation measures in environmental management.


The Ecohydrological Stress tool provides specialized software to derive transfer functions between characteristic groundwater levels and the process-based habitat factors oxygen and drought stress, OS and DS respectively. It can do that for different meteorological conditions (including climate scenarios) and soil types. With these functions, groundwater levels (measured or modelled) can be easily translated into OS and DS.
The Ecohydrological Stress tool consists of two parts:

  1. a library with predefined transfer functions, which are ready-to-use functions to translate groundwater levels to OS and DS for specific soil types and meteorological stations.
  2. a procedure for the automated modelling of interacting hydrological and plant physiological processes.

These will produce transfer functions between groundwater levels and the habitat factors OS and DS. The derived transfer functions are tailored to the area of interest of the user, and could also be added to the library.
The comprehensive manual describes how to use (predefined) transfer functions, and how to generate these transfer functions for a specific region. It takes into account the theoretical background on the process-based habitat factors for oxygen and drought stress. In addition, it describes the automated modelling procedure, including the relevant assumptions.


The specialized software generates transfer functions to translate groundwater levels to process-based habitat factors for soil moisture, facilitating robust ecohydrological impact assessments.

Within an automated modelling procedure, time series of groundwater levels, soil moisture conditions and soil temperature are created for each combination of soil type, drainage situation and meteorological conditions. Then, based on these results, oxygen stress (OS) and drought stress (DS) are calculated within the tool.

Finally, OS and DS are given as a function of soil type, meteorological conditions and characteristic groundwater levels. Only soil data and meteorological conditions are required as inputs.

Tool-use options:

  • Search pre-calculated transfer function:
    find transfer function in the library, based on the criteria country, meteorological station, period, soil type and climate scenario.
  • Download specialized modelling procedure to calculate transfer functions:
    a zip file can be extracted to a local hard drive, from which the automated modelling procedure to calculate transfer functions can be started. The required input is described in the manual.
  • Upload calculated transfer function:
    add calculated transfer function to the library.


There are several forms of support available to ensure that you optimize your use of the Ecohydrological Stress tool and that you are updated on all the latest developments. Specifically, you can make use of the following options to suit your particular situation:

  • Expanded or modified Ecohydrological Stress functionalities to create tailored solutions.
  • Consultancy services, including technical process management and reporting.
  • Access to Ecohydrological Stress-related projects or research.

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Mentioned in: 8 Publications
Enrolled in: 1 Case in 1 Country

Tool Expert(s)

Ruud Bartholomeus

Ruud Bartholomeus

Scientific researcher, KWR

+31 (0) 30 60 69 530