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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Climate change impacts on European arable crop yields: Sensitivity to assumptions about rotations and residue management

Faye, Babacar; Webber, Heidi; Gaiser, Thomas; Muller, Christoph; Zhang, Yinan; Stella, Tommaso; Latka, Catharina; Reckling, Moritz; Heckelei, Thomas; Helming, Katharina; Ewert, Frank


Most large scale studies assessing climate change impacts on crops are performed with simulations of single crops and with annual re-initialization of the initial soil conditions. This is in contrast to the reality that crops are grown in rotations, often with sizable proportion of the preceding crop residue to be left in the fields and varying soil initial conditions from year to year. In this study, the sensitivity of climate change impacts on crop yield and soil organic carbon to assumptions about annual model re-initialization, specification of crop rotations and the amount of residue retained in fields was assessed for seven main crops across Europe. Simulations were con-ducted for a scenario period 2040-2065 relative to a baseline from 1980 to 2005 using the SIMPLACE1 modeling framework. Results indicated across Europe positive climate change impacts on yield for C3 crops and negative impacts for maize. The consideration of simulating rotations did not have a benefit on yield variability but on relative yield change in response to climate change which slightly increased for C3 crops and decreased for C4 crops when rotation was considered. Soil organic carbon decreased under climate change in both simulations assuming a continuous monocrop and plausible rotations by between 1% and 2% depending on the residue management strategy.


Climate change impacts assessments; Crop model re-initialization; Crop rotations; Crop residue management; Europe

Published in

European Journal of Agronomy
2023, Volume: 142, article number: 126670
Publisher: ELSEVIER

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG13 Climate action

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science
    Climate Research

    Publication identifier


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