MACSUR — Summary of research results, phase 1: 2012-2015

Martin Köchy, Michael Aberton, Andre Bannink, Martin Banse, Floor Brouwer, Katharina Brüser, Frank Ewert, Christine Foyer, Jason S. Jorgenson, Richard Kipling, Jac Meijs, Reimund Rötter, Nigel Scollan, Franz Sinabell, Richard Tiffin, Agnes van den Pol-van Dasselaar


MACSUR — Modelling European Agriculture with Climate Change for Food Security — is a  knowledge hub that was formally created in June 2012 as a European scientific network.  The strategic aim of the knowledge hub is to create a coordinated and globally visible  network of European researchers and research groups, with intra- and interdisciplinary  interaction and shared expertise creating synergies for the development of scientific  resources (data, models, methods) to model the impacts of climate change on agriculture  and related issues. This objective encompasses a wide range of political and sociological  aspects, as well as the technical development of modelling capacity through impact  assessments at different scales and assessing uncertainties in model outcomes. We achieve  this through model intercomparisons and model improvements, harmonization and  exchange of data sets, training in the selection and use of models, assessment of benefits  of ensemble modelling, and cross-disciplinary linkages of models and tools. The project  engages with a diverse range of stakeholder groups and to support the development of  resources for capacity building of individuals and countries. Commensurate with this broad  challenge, a network of currently 300 scientists (measured by the number of individuals on  the central e-mail list) from 18 countries evolved from the original set of research groups  selected by FACCE.  

In the spirit of creating and maintaining a network for intra- and interdisciplinary  knowledge exchange, network activities focused on meetings of researchers for sharing  expertise and, depending on group resources (both financial and personnel), development  of collaborative research activities. The outcome of these activities is the enhanced  knowledge of the individual researchers within the network, contributions to conference  presentations and scholarly papers, input to stakeholders and the general public, organised  courses for students, junior and senior scientists. The most visible outcome are the  scientific results of the network activities, represented in the contributions of MACSUR  members to the impressive number of more than 200 collaborative papers in peer-reviewed  publications.  

Here, we present a selection of overview and cross-disciplinary papers which include  contributions from MACSUR members. It highlights the major scientific challenges  addressed, and the methodological solutions and insights obtained. Over and above these  highlights, major achievements have been reached regarding data collection, data  processing, evaluation, model testing, modelling assessments of the effects of agriculture  on ecosystem services, policy, and development of scenarios. Details on these  achievements in the context of MACSUR can be found in our online publication FACCE  MACSUR Reports at



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Asseng S., Ewert F., Martre P. et al., 2015. Rising temperatures reduce global wheat production. Nature Climate Change 5, 143-147. doi: 10.1038/nclimate2470

Bellocchi G., Ma S., Köchy M., Braunmiller K., 2013. Identified grassland-livestock production systems and related models. FACCE MACSUR Reports 2: D-L2.1.1. Available online at

Bellocchi G., Rivington M., Matthews K., Acutis M., 2015. Deliberative processes for comprehensive evaluation of agroecological models. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 35, 589-605. doi: 10.1007/s13593-014-0271-0

Bindi M., 2013. Identification of most important cropping systems and available models. FACCE MACSUR Reports 1: D-C1.1. Available online at

Bodirsky B.L., Popp A., Lotze-Campen H. et al., 2014. Reactive nitrogen requirements to feed the world in 2050 and potential to mitigate nitrogen pollution. Nature Communications 5, 3858. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4858

Bojar W., 2013. Factsheets of the models. FACCE MACSUR Reports 1: D-T1.1. Available online at

Brouwer F., Sinabell F., 2015. Three years of collaboration in TradeM – Agricultural markets and prices. FACCE MACSUR Reports, 6, p. SP6-4.

Cammarano D., Rivington M., Matthews K., B, Bellocchi G., 2015. Estimates of crop responses to climate change with quantified ranges of uncertainty. FACCE MACSUR Reports 6: D-C4.1.3. Available online at

Challinor A., Martre P., Asseng S., Thornton P., Ewert F., 2014. Making the most of climate impacts ensembles. Nature Climate Change 4, 77-80. doi: 10.1038/nclimate2117

Dalgaard T., Kjeldsen C., Graversgard M., 2015. Review of regional scale models in the EU and methods commonly used when modelling outcomes of the implementation of the climate change mitigation policies. FACCE MACSUR Reports 6: D-L4.1. Available online at

Del Prado A., Van den Pol-van Dasselaar A., Chadwick D., Misselbrook T., Sandars D., Audsley E., Mosquera-Losada M., R, 2015. Synergies between mitigation and adaptation to Climate Change in grassland-based farming systems. FACCE MACSUR Reports 6: D-L3.3. Available online at

Dono G., Cortignani R., Doro L., Giraldo L., Ledda L., Pasqui M., Roggero P.P., 2013. An Integrated Assessment of the Impacts of Changing Climate Variability on Agricultural Productivity and Profitability in an Irrigated Mediterranean Catchment. Water Resource Management 27, 3607-3622. doi: 10.1007/s11269-013-0367-3

Elsgaard L., Børgesen C.D., Olesen J.E., Siebert S., Ewert F., Peltonen-Sainio P., Rötter R.P., Skjelvåg A.O., 2012. Shifts in comparative advantages for maize, oat, and wheat cropping under climate change in Europe. Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A 29, 1514-1526.

Ewert F., Rötter R.P., Bindi M. et al., 2015. Crop modelling for integrated assessment of risk to food production from climate change. Environmental Modelling & Software doi: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2014.12.003

Ewert F., al E., 2015. Uncertainties in Scaling-Up Crop Models for Large-Area Climate Change Impact Assessments. FACCE MACSUR Reports 6: D-C3.3. Available online at

Hoffmann H., Ewert F., 2015. Review on scaling methods for crop models. FACCE MACSUR Reports 6: D-C3.1. Available online at

Hoveid Ø., 2015. Prototype of stochastic equilibrium model of the food system. FACCE MACSUR Reports 6: D-T2.5. Available online at

Hutchings N., Kipling R., 2014. Inventory of farm-scale models within LiveM. FACCE MACSUR Reports 3: D-L3.1. Available online at

Köchy M., Bannink A., Banse M., Brouwer F., Brüser K., Ewert F., Foyer C., Kipling R., Rötter R., Scollan N., Sinabell F., 2015. MACSUR Phase 1 Final Administrative Report: Public release. FACCE MACSUR Reports 6: D-H3.5.3. Available online at

Köchy M., Jorgenson J., Braunmiller K., 2015. Overview of case studies. FACCE MACSUR Reports 6: D-H2.1. Available online at

Köchy M., Zimmermann A., 2013. Workshop on Regional Pilot Studies, 5-7 June 2013, Braunschweig. FACCE MACSUR Reports 2: R-H1.2.1. Available online at

Kollas C., Kersebaum K.C., Nendel C. et al., 2015. Crop rotation modelling—A European model intercomparison. European Journal of Agronomy 70, 98-111. doi: 10.1016/j.eja.2015.06.007

König H.J., Helming K., Seddaiu G. et al., Stakeholder participation in agricultural research: Who should be involved, why, and how?

Lacetera N., Vitali A., Bernabucci U., Nardone A., 2015. Report on relationships between THI and dairy cow performance. FACCE MACSUR Reports 4: D-L1.2.3. Available online at

Mitter H., Heumesser C., Schmid E., 2015. Spatial modeling of robust crop production portfolios to assess agricultural vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. Land Use Policy 46, 75-90. doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2015.01.010

Kuhnert M., Robertson R.D., 2014. Projecting future crop productivity for global economic modeling. Agricultural Economics 45, 37-50. doi: 10.1111/agec.2014.45.issue-1

Nelson G.C., Valin H., Sands R.D. et al., 2014. Climate change effects on agriculture: economic responses to biophysical shocks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111, 3274-3279. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1222465110

Olesen J.E., Børgesen C.D., Elsgaard L. et al., 2012. Changes in time of sowing, flowering and maturity of cereals in Europe under climate change. Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A 29, 1527-1542. doi: 10.1080/19440049.2012.712060

Pirttioja N., Carter T.R., Fronzek S. et al., 2015. Temperature and precipitation effects on wheat yield across a European transect: a crop model ensemble analysis using impact response surfaces. Climate Research doi: 10.3354/cr01322

Podhora A., Helming K., Adenäuer L. et al., 2013. The policy-relevancy of impact assessment tools: Evaluating nine years of European research funding. Environmental Science & Policy 31, 85-95. doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2013.03.002

Refsgaard J.C., Madsen H., Andréassian V. et al., 2014. A framework for testing the ability of models to project climate change and its impacts. Climatic Change 122, 271-282.

Rivington M., Wallach D., 2015. Communication strategy, including design of tools for more effective communication of uncertainty. FACCE MACSUR Reports 6: D-C4.1.4. Available online at

Roggero P.P., 2015. Oristano,Sardinia, Italy: Winners and losers from climate change in agriculture: a case study in the Mediterranean basin. In: Climate-change impacts on farming systems in the next decades — why worry when you have CAP? A FACCE MACSUR workshop for policymakers, 2015-05-06 to 2015-05-06, Brussels (Belgium), FACCE MACSUR Reports, 6, p. SP6-7.

Rosenzweig C., Jones J.W., Hatfield J.L. et al., 2013. The Agricultural Model Inter¬compar-ison and Improvement Project (AgMIP): Protocols and pilot studies. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 170, 166-182. doi: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2012.09.011

Rötter R.P., Semenov M.A., 2014. Development of methods for the probabilistic assessment of climate change impacts on crop production. FACCE MACSUR Reports 3: D-C4.4.1. Available online at

Rötter R.P., 2014. Agricultural Impacts: Robust uncertainty. Nature Climate Change 4, 251-252. doi: 10.1038/nclimate2181

Rötter R.P., Tao F., Höhn J.G., Palosuo T., 2015. Use of crop simulation modelling to aid ideotype design of future cereal cultivars. Journal of Experimental Botany 66, 3463-3476. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erv098

Sakschewski B., von Bloh W, Huber V., Kuhnert M., Bondeau A., 2014. Feeding 10 billion people under climate change: How large is the production gap of current agricultural systems? Ecological Modelling 288, 103-111. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2014.05.019

Sándor R., Ma S., Acutis M. et al., 2015. Uncertainty in simulating biomass yield and carbon–water fluxes from grasslands under climate change. Advances in Animal Biosciences 6, 49-51. doi: 10.1017/S2040470014000545

Schönhart M., Nadeem I., 2015. Direct climate change impacts on cattle indicated by THI models. Advances in Animal Biosciences 6, 17-20. doi: 10.1017/S2040470014000430

Scollan N., Bannink A., Kipling R., Saetnan E., Van Middelkoop J., 2015. Livestock and feed production, especially dairy and beef. FACCE MACSUR Reports 6: SP6-3. Belgium. Available online at

Seddaiu G., Ruiu M.L., Kipling R.P., 2015. Report on Stakeholder Engagement Methodologies. FACCE MACSUR Reports 4: D-L4.2. Available online at

Virkajärvi P., Lehtonen H., Järvenranta K., 2015. Regional impacts of climate change, observations and projections. Finnish Pilot study: North Savo region. In: Climate-change impacts on farming systems in the next decades: Why worry when you have CAP? A workshop for decisionmakers., 2015-05-06, Brussels (Belgium), FACCE MACSUR Reports, 6, p. SP6-5. Available online at

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.