Modelling adaptation of wheat cultivar to increasing temperatures and heat stress

Jørgen Eivind Olesen, Marija Vignjevic, Bernd Wollenweber


Climate change is expected to lead to yield reductions in cereals due to effects on both growth duration and physiological processes affecting assimilation and translocation to grains. However, some of these negative effects may be alleviated through plant breeding. A pot experiment with selected spring wheat varieties exposed to post anthesis heat stress (35 oC for 5 days) showed that the major factor affecting variety differences in heat tolerance was related to effects on green leaf area duration after heat stress. A field experiment with the same selected spring wheat varieties showed large differences between the varieties in crop development and in biomass. The data were used to calibrate the FASSET and Sirius crop models using a sequenced calibration procedure. Both models simulated crop growth and yield well. A sensitivity analysis with increasing temperature showed declining yields for both models with higher rates of yield reduction at temperature increases above 3oC. The models agreed on the pattern of yield decline between cultivars, with larger yield declines being related to earliness. The FASSET model was further modified to simulate effects of cultivar differences in remobilization of water soluble carbohydrates and effects of post-anthesis heat stress on crop yield. Effects of variation in threshold temperature for heat stress as well as response rate are tested.

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