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Report2021Open access

Adapting cropping systems to climate change - a literature review

Costa, Alessio


As overconsumption, food waste and diet choice of increase global food demand and climate shifts to warmer and more extreme conditions, action is needed to reduce the devastating effects of climate change on global food production to ensure food security. Heatwaves, droughts, floods are few extreme examples of disturbances that cropping systems have to face, which often result in crop failures and yield reductions. Crop and soil management practices can adapt cropping systems to a range of climatic and weather conditions, allowing the farmers to reduce negative and exploit positive effects of climate change. Here I review the potential of commonly used practices in adapting cropping systems to climate change and the mechanisms underlying the resilience of such systems to climate-induced disturbances, with the intent to identify: 1) Climate adaptation practices efficient for maintaining high and stable yields in cropping systems under climate-induced disturbances; 2) Knowledge gaps relative to climate adaptation potential of crop management practices. The results indicated that crop and soil management practices can partially adapt cropping systems to local and climate-change induced conditions, especially under water-stress conditions. However, studies analysing yield stability of cropping systems under detrimental conditions are scarce. Addressing to this knowledge gap might promote the uptake of climate-adaptation practices, thus increasing global food security under the uncertainty of climate change.

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Publisher: Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Climate Research
    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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