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Trnka M.,Mendel University in Brno | Trnka M.,CzechGlobe Center for Global Climate Change Impacts Studies | Olesen J.E.,University of Aarhus | Kersebaum K.C.,Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research | And 25 more authors.
Global Change Biology | Year: 2011

To date, projections of European crop yields under climate change have been based almost entirely on the outputs of crop-growth models. While this strategy can provide good estimates of the effects of climatic factors, soil conditions and management on crop yield, these models usually do not capture all of the important aspects related to crop management, or the relevant environmental factors. Moreover, crop-simulation studies often have severe limitations with respect to the number of crops covered or the spatial extent. The present study, based on agroclimatic indices, provides a general picture of agroclimatic conditions in western and central Europe (study area lays between 8.5°W-27°E and 37-63.5°N), which allows for a more general assessment of climate-change impacts. The results obtained from the analysis of data from 86 different sites were clustered according to an environmental stratification of Europe. The analysis was carried for the baseline (1971-2000) and future climate conditions (time horizons of 2030, 2050 and with a global temperature increase of 5°C) based on outputs of three global circulation models. For many environmental zones, there were clear signs of deteriorating agroclimatic condition in terms of increased drought stress and shortening of the active growing season, which in some regions become increasingly squeezed between a cold winter and a hot summer. For most zones the projections show a marked need for adaptive measures to either increase soil water availability or drought resistance of crops. This study concludes that rainfed agriculture is likely to face more climate-related risks, although the analyzed agroclimatic indicators will probably remain at a level that should permit rainfed production. However, results suggests that there is a risk of increasing number of extremely unfavorable years in many climate zones, which might result in higher interannual yield variability and constitute a challenge for proper crop management. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Thaler S.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Eitzinger J.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Eitzinger J.,CzechGlobe Center for Global Climate Change Impacts Studies | Trnka M.,CzechGlobe Center for Global Climate Change Impacts Studies | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Agricultural Science | Year: 2012

The main objective of the present crop simulation study was to determine the impact of climate change on the winter wheat production of a dry area situated in north-east Austria (Marchfeld region) based on the CERES-Wheat crop-growth simulation model associated with global circulation models (GCMs). The effects of some of the feasible regional- and farm-based adaptation measures (management options) on crop yield and water and nitrogen (N) balance under the climate scenarios were simulated. Climate scenarios were defined based on the ECHAM5, HadCM3 and NCAR PCM GCM simulations for future conditions (2021-50) as described in the Special Report on Emission Scenarios A1B (Nakicenovic & Swart 2000). The potential development, yield, water demand and soil N leaching were estimated for winter wheat and all of the defined climates (including rising CO2 levels) and management scenarios (soil cultivation, windbreaks and irrigation). The results showed that a warming of 2°C in the air temperature would shorten the crop-growing period by up to 20 days and would decrease the potential winter wheat yield on nearly all of the soil types in the region. Particularly, high-yield reductions were projected for light-textured soils such as Parachernozems. A change from ploughing to minimum tillage within the future scenario would lead to an increase of up to 8% of the mean yield of winter wheat. This effect mainly resulted from improved water supply to the crop, associated with higher soil water storage capacity and decrease of unproductive water losses. Hedgerows, which reduce the wind speed, were predicted to have particularly positive effects on medium and moderately fine-textured soils such as Chernozems and Fluvisols. With both management changes, regional mean-yield level can be expected to be +4% in comparison with no management changes in the future conditions. Compared with the baseline period, water demand for the potential yield of winter wheat would require 6-37 mm more water per crop season (area-weighted average). The highest water demand would be on medium-textured soils, which make up the largest amount of area in the study region. Additionally, the effects of snow accumulation near hedgerows would further increase the yield, but would also lead to higher N leaching rates. However, specific management options, such as minimum tillage and hedgerows, could contribute towards reducing the increasing water demand. © 2012 Cambridge University Press.

Eitzinger J.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Eitzinger J.,CzechGlobe Center for Global Climate Change Impacts Studies | Thaler S.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Schmid E.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | And 12 more authors.
Journal of Agricultural Science | Year: 2013

The objective of the present study was to compare the performance of seven different, widely applied crop models in predicting heat and drought stress effects. The study was part of a recent suite of model inter-comparisons initiated at European level and constitutes a component that has been lacking in the analysis of sources of uncertainties in crop models used to study the impacts of climate change. There was a specific focus on the sensitivity of models for winter wheat and maize to extreme weather conditions (heat and drought) during the short but critical period of 2 weeks after the start of flowering. Two locations in Austria, representing different agro-climatic zones and soil conditions, were included in the simulations over 2 years, 2003 and 2004, exhibiting contrasting weather conditions. In addition, soil management was modified at both sites by following either ploughing or minimum tillage. Since no comprehensive field experimental data sets were available, a relative comparison of simulated grain yields and soil moisture contents under defined weather scenarios with modified temperatures and precipitation was performed for a 2-week period after flowering. The results may help to reduce the uncertainty of simulated crop yields to extreme weather conditions through better understanding of the models' behaviour. Although the crop models considered (DSSAT, EPIC, WOFOST, AQUACROP, FASSET, HERMES and CROPSYST) mostly showed similar trends in simulated grain yields for the different weather scenarios, it was obvious that heat and drought stress caused by changes in temperature and/or precipitation for a short period of 2 weeks resulted in different grain yields simulated by different models. The present study also revealed that the models responded differently to changes in soil tillage practices, which affected soil water storage capacity. © Cambridge University Press 2012.

Lalic B.,University of Novi Sad | Eitzinger J.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Eitzinger J.,CzechGlobe Center for Global Climate Change Impacts Studies | Mihailovic D.T.,University of Novi Sad | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Agricultural Science | Year: 2013

One of the main problems in estimating the effects of climate change on crops is the identification of those factors limiting crop growth in a selected environment. Previous studies have indicated that considering simple trends of either precipitation or temperature for the coming decades is insufficient for estimating the climate impact on yield in the future. One reason for this insufficiency is that changes in weather extremes or seasonal weather patterns may have marked impacts. The present study focuses on identifying agroclimatic parameters that can identify the effects of climate change and variability on winter wheat yield change in the Pannonian lowland. The impacts of soil type under past and future climates as well as the effect of different CO2 concentrations on yield formation are also considered. The Vojvodina region was chosen for this case study because it is a representative part of the Pannonian lowland. Projections of the future climate were taken from the HadCM3, ECHAM5 and NCAR-PCM climate models with the SRES-A2 scenario for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the 2040 and 2080 integration periods. To calibrate and validate the Met&Roll weather generator, four-variable weather data series (for six main climatic stations in the Vojvodina region) were analysed. The grain yield of winter wheat was calculated using the SIRIUS wheat model for three different CO2 concentrations (330, 550 and 1050 ppm) dependent on the integration period. To estimate the effects of climatic parameters on crop yield, the correlation coefficient between crop yield and agroclimatic indices was calculated using the AGRICLIM software. The present study shows that for all soil types, the following indices are the most important for winter wheat yields in this region: (i) the number of days with water and temperature stress, (ii) the accumulated precipitation, (iii) the actual evapotranspiration (ETa) and (iv) the water deficit during the growing season. The high positive correlations between yield and the ETa, accumulated precipitation and the ratio between the ETa and reference evapotranspiration (ETr) for the April-June period indicate that water is and will remain a major limiting factor for growing winter wheat in this region. Indices referring to negative impact on yield are (i) the number of days with a water deficit for the April-June period and (ii) the number of days with maximum temperature above 25 °C (summer days) and the number of days with maximum temperature above 30 °C (tropical days) in May and June. These indices can be seen as indicators of extreme weather events such as drought and heat waves. © Cambridge University Press 2012.

Hlavinka P.,Mendel University in Brno | Hlavinka P.,CzechGlobe Center for Global Climate Change Impacts Studies | Trnka M.,Mendel University in Brno | Trnka M.,CzechGlobe Center for Global Climate Change Impacts Studies | And 12 more authors.
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2011

The newly developed SoilClim model is introduced as a tool for estimates of reference (ETo) and actual (ETa) evapotranspiration, presence of snow cover, soil temperature at 0.5m depth and the soil moisture course within two defined layers. It enables one to determine the soil moisture and temperature regimes according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) soil taxonomy. SoilClim works with daily time steps and requires maximum and minimum air temperature, global solar radiation, precipitation, vapor pressure and wind speed as meteorological inputs as well as basic information about the soil properties and vegetation cover. The behavior of SoilClim was assessed using observations at 5 stations in central Europe and 15 stations in the central U.S. The modeled ETo was compared with atmometers so that the coefficient of determination (R2) was 0.91 and root mean square error (RMSE) was 0.53mm. The estimated ETa was compared against eddy-covariance and Bowen ratio measurements (R2 varied from 0.74 to 0.80; RMSE varied from 0.49 to 0.58mm). The soil temperature (at 0.5m depth) was estimated with good accuracy (R2 varied from 0.94 to 0.97; RMSE varied from 1.23°C to 2.95°C). The ability of the SoilClim model to mimic the observed soil water dynamics was carefully investigated (relative root mean square error rRMSE varied from 2.8% to 34.0%). The analysis conducted showed that SoilClim gives reasonable estimates of evaluated parameters at a majority of the included stations. Finally, a spatial analysis of soil moisture and temperature regimes (according to USDA) within the region of the Czech Republic and the northern part of Austria under present conditions was conducted and diagnosed the appearance of Perudic, Subhumid Udic, Dry Tempudic (the highest frequency), Wet Tempustic and Typic Tempustic. The simulated mean soil temperature (0.5m depth) varied from less than 7.0°C to 11.0°C throughout this region. Based on these results, the SoilClim model is a useful and suitable tool for water balance and soil climate assessment on local and regional scales. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

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