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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Adaptation Strategy Can Ensure Seed and Food Production With Improving Water and Nitrogen Use Efficiency Under Climate Change

Chen, Shichao; Liu, Wenfeng; Yan, Zongzheng; Morel, Julien; Parsons, David; Du, Taisheng


Adaptation strategies can reduce the negative impacts of climate change on food security. As an important part of food security, more attention should be paid to seed security, as it determines the crop planting area and ultimately affects food production, especially in major seed production locations, such as the Hexi Corridor in China. This region is an important production base of grain (including field maize and wheat) and maize seed, but the shortage of water resources and low use efficiency of water and nitrogen (N) seriously constrain the sustainable development of agriculture. Formulating an adaptation strategy to balance the seed and food production and resource use efficiency is an important way to maintain regional as well as national food production. We established an optimization-simulation framework, which consists of a novel crop production function and a grid-based crop model, APSIM. This framework was used to optimize agricultural management and evaluate its performance considering the spatio-temporal variability of climate and soil properties, actual crop water consumption and N uptake during each growth stage, and interactive sensitivity coefficients of water and N at different growth stages under climate change. We show that the proposed adaptation strategy could save 0.31 km(3) of irrigation water and 22 thousand tonnes of N fertilizer, and increase seed and food production by 33 thousand tonnes, compared with traditional practices. Significant increases in irrigation water productivity and N use efficiency can be expected by using the adaptation supporting the sustainable development of agriculture.


seed production; food security; adaptive distributed irrigation and nitrogen fertilization strategy; climate change

Published in

Earth's Future
2023, Volume: 11, number: 2, article number: e2022EF002879

      SLU Authors

    • Morel, Julien

      • Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • European Commission, Joint Research Centre
      • Parsons, David

        • Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      Sustainable Development Goals

      Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
      Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
      End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Agricultural Science
      Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

      Publication identifier


      Permanent link to this page (URI)