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Adapting wheat sowing dates to projected climate change in the Australian subtropics: analysis of crop water use and yield

By Davide Cammarano, Jose Payero, Bruno Basso, Lydia Stefanova and Peter Grace

Abstract

Projected increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]) and air temperature associated with\ud future climate change are expected to affect crop development, crop yield, and, consequently, global food supplies. They are also likely to change agricultural production practices, especially those related to agricultural water management and sowing date. The magnitude of these changes and their implications to local production systems are mostly unknown. The objectives\ud of this study were to: (i) simulate the effect of projected climate change on spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Lang) yield and water use for the subtropical environment of the Darling Downs, Queensland, Australia; and (ii) investigate the impact of changing sowing date, as an adaptation strategy to future climate change scenarios, on wheat yield and water use. The multimodel climate projections from the IPCC Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP3) for the period 2030–2070 were used in this study. Climate scenarios included combinations of four changes in air temperature (08C, 18C, 28C, and 38C),\ud three [CO2] levels (380 ppm, 500 ppm, and 600 ppm), and three changes in rainfall (–30%, 0%, and +20%), which were\ud superimposed on observed station data. Crop management scenarios included a combination of six sowing dates (1 May,\ud 10 May, 20 May, 1 June, 10 June, and 20 June) and three irrigation regimes (no irrigation (NI), deficit irrigation (DI), and full irrigation (FI)). Simulations were performed with the model DSSAT4.5, using 50 years of daily weather data.Wefound that:\ud (1) grain yield and water-use efficiency (yield/evapotranspiration) increased linearly with [CO2]; (2) increases in [CO2] had\ud minimal impact on evapotranspiration; \ud (3) yield increased with increasing temperature for the irrigated scenarios (DI and FI), but decreased for the NI scenario; \ud (4) yield increased with earlier sowing dates; and \ud (5) changes in rainfall had a small impact on yield for DI and FI, but a high impact for the NI scenario

Topics: Climate Change, Crop Modelling, Crop Water Stress, Evapotranspiration, Irrigation Requirements, Water Use Efficiency, Wheat
Publisher: C S I R O Publishing
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1071/CP11324
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:56174
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