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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Functional phenomics for improved climate resilience in Nordic agriculture

Roitsch, Thomas; Himanen, Kristiina; Chawade, Aakash; Jaakola, Laura; Nehe, Ajit; Alexandersson, Erik


The five Nordic countries span the most northern region for field cultivation in the world. This presents challenges per se, with short growing seasons, long days, and a need for frost tolerance. Climate change has additionally increased risks for micro-droughts and water logging, as well as pathogens and pests expanding northwards. Thus, Nordic agriculture demands crops that are adapted to the specific Nordic growth conditions and future climate scenarios. A focus on crop varieties and traits important to Nordic agriculture, including the unique resource of nutritious wild crops, can meet these needs. In fact, with a future longer growing season due to climate change, the region could contribute proportionally more to global agricultural production. This also applies to other northern regions, including the Arctic. To address current growth conditions, mitigate impacts of climate change, and meet market demands, the adaptive capacity of crops that both perform well in northern latitudes and are more climate resilient has to be increased, and better crop management systems need to be built. This requires functional phenomics approaches that integrate versatile high-throughput phenotyping, physiology, and bioinformatics. This review stresses key target traits, the opportunities of latitudinal studies, and infrastructure needs for phenotyping to support Nordic agriculture.


Arctic; climate change; crop phenotyping; functional phenomics; Nordic agriculture; wild crops

Published in

Journal of Experimental Botany

Authors' information

Roitsch, Thomas
University of Copenhagen
Roitsch, Thomas
Global Change Research Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Himanen, Kristiina
University of Helsinki
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding
Jaakola, Laura
UiT The Arctic University of Tromso
Jaakola, Laura
Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Protection Biology

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG13 Climate action
SDG2 Zero hunger

UKÄ Subject classification

Climate Research
Agricultural Science

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)