Projected impact of future climate on drought patterns in complex rainfed environments

Watson, James, Zheng, Bangyou, Chapman, Scott C. and Chenu, Karine (2015) Projected impact of future climate on drought patterns in complex rainfed environments. Procedia Environmental Sciences, 29 29: 190-191. doi:10.1016/j.proenv.2015.07.255

Author Watson, James
Zheng, Bangyou
Chapman, Scott C.
Chenu, Karine
Title Projected impact of future climate on drought patterns in complex rainfed environments
Journal name Procedia Environmental Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1878-0296
Publication date 2015-01-01
Sub-type Other
DOI 10.1016/j.proenv.2015.07.255
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 29
Issue 29
Start page 190
End page 191
Total pages 2
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Understanding how climate change is likely to affect crop productivity is essential for global food security. Climate change studies predict an increase in rainfall variability in future decades, which is likely to affect crops grown in water-limited environments. Crop productivity results from complex interactions between genotype, management practices, and the local environment, making it challenging to characterize the crop-level impacts of climate projections. Given the importance of this task for long-term strategies in breeding, farming and policies, and the impracticality of performing sufficient relevant experiments, modeling tools are used to forecast climatic effects.

In this study, we used the APSIM-Wheat model (Holzworth et al., 2014) to identify water-stress environment types for 60 representative locations (22 regions) across the Australian wheatbelt (Chenu et al., 2013). Simulations were performed using historical climate records and for a selection of future climate scenarios provided by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5).

Model results indicate substantial changes in water-stressed environments in the coming decades, with projected changes in drought frequency found to be highly region-specific. Regional variations were also dependent on the climate model considered, highlighting a high range of uncertainty for the future projections. In the worst-case climate scenario studied, significant increases in drought conditions, fewer planting opportunities and higher rates of unviable crops were found.

By accounting for the complex interactions between crop development and projected future climates, this study provides valuable information on the likely importance of future drought for the wheat industry. These results highlight the urgency for breeding drought-tolerant lines to secure crop productivity in rainfed regions such as Australia.
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Other
Collection: Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
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Created: Wed, 24 Feb 2016, 02:30:31 EST by Dr Karine Chenu on behalf of Centre for Plant Science