Climate change impacts and adaptation strategies evaluation on staple food crops in different agro-climatic zones

Valentina Mereu, Donatella Spano, Andrea Gallo, Gianluca Carboni


Increasing temperatures, changed precipitation patterns and more frequent extreme events may lead to an increase in crop failure and to a substantial decrease of crop yields. The assessment of climate change impacts on agricultural sector has a particular interest to stakeholders and policy makers, in order to identify specific agricultural sectors and agro-climatic zones that could be more vulnerable to changes in climatic conditions and to develop the most appropriate policies to cope with these threats. For these reasons, the evaluation of climate change impacts for key crops in different agro-climatic zones was made exploring climate uncertainty and focusing on short period monitoring, which is particularly useful for food security and risk management. The analysis was made using the DSSAT-CSM (Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer - Cropping System Model) software, version 4.5. Crop models implemented into DSSAT-CSM were used, for each selected crop, to evaluate climate change impacts on crop production. Multiple combinations of soils and climate conditions, crop management and varieties were considered for different agro-climatic zones. The climate impact was assessed using future climate projections, statistically and/or dynamically downscaled, for the specific areas. Direct and indirect effects of different CO2 concentrations, projected for the future periods, were separately explored to estimate their effects on crops. Finally, several adaptation strategies were evaluated with the aim to reduce the negative impact of climate change on crop production. The results of the study, analysed at local and regional scale, will be discussed.

Previous issues and volumes can be found in the 'Archives' section.

You can refer to a paper published in this series in the following format Author (2013) Title. FACCE MACSUR Reports 2: D-C1.3, where "D-C1.3" is the article ID en lieu of page range.