Soil physical hydraulic properties are determinations considered expensive and difficult to obtain. The use of pedotransfer functions (PTFs) is an alternative for obtaining such properties more easily and practically costless. The objective of this study was to develop and validate PTFs to estimate soil water retention of different textural soil classes in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The research was carried out using data from physical analysis of soils belonging to the database of Sistema Irriga laboratory, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria. This database consists of soil texture information (sand, silt and clay), density (of soil and of particles), soil porosity (macro, micro and total), besides of water content information at the matrix potential of 0, -1, -6,-33, -100, -500 e -1500kPa. Soil samples were collected on the surface layer of cultivated soils of RS. The variables were submitted to a correlation test, and were subsequently analyzed in multiple regressions test to obtain the PTFs, using the stepwise option of the SAS statistical program. The generated PTFs showed greater associations of soil attributes only related to soil structure such as soil water retention for higher potential (0 and -1kPa) and textural and structural attributes for lower potential (-33, -100, -500 e -1500kPa). The PTFs showed high accuracy in estimating soil water holding capacity of the considered potentials.
water content; pedofunctions; soil physical attributes