Regional analysis of climate change impact and adaptation strategies for winter durum wheat and tomato yield cultivated in Southern Italy

Domenico Ventrella, Luisa Giglio


The most important factors limiting the agriculture in Puglia region in Southern Italy are typically  linked to high temperatures and low water availability. In expected future scenarios, increased challenges about such factors could further limit the crop productivity.

We adopted an approach based on the simulation analysis carried out through the DSSAT implemented into AEGIS/WIN. This tool has proved to be an useful tool to manage the analysis results about the potential future impact of two regionalized climatic scenarios within the SRES scenario A2. Anomaly_2 and Anomaly_5, based on a target increase of global temperature of 2° and 5°C.  The winter durum wheat and tomato were simulated on the basis of the interaction climate-soil on a regional scale framework interesting the whole area of Puglia (about 20000 km2) subdivided in about 200 units of simulation.

The wheat yield has proved to be mainly affected by the variability of precipitation. Conversely, the largest increment of temperature of spring-summer period caused a tomato yield reduction. As second step, in order to individuate the optimal adaptation strategies for both crops, a spatial analysis focused on sowing/transplanting times, nitrogen fertilization and tomato-irrigation has been carried out. The results have clearly indicated the different sensitivity of crops to climate change as influenced by the specific interaction soil-climate and an high degree of uncertainty, especially for the sowing date, depending even on small differences related to the climatic differences characterizing the areas of the Puglia territory.

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