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Crop rotations sustain cereal yields under a changing climate

Marini, Lorenzo and St-Martin, Audrey and Vico, Giulia and Baldoni, Guido and Berti, Antonio and Blecharczyk, Andrzej and Malecka-Jankowiak, Irena and Morari, Francesco and Sawinska, Zuzanna and Bommarco, Riccardo (2020). Crop rotations sustain cereal yields under a changing climate. Environmental Research Letters. 15 , 124011
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Abstract

Agriculture is facing the complex challenge of satisfying increasing food demands, despite the current and projected negative impacts of climate change on yields. Increasing crop diversity at a national scale has been suggested as an adaptive measure to better cope with negative climate impacts such as increasing temperatures and drought, but there is little evidence to support this hypothesis at the field scale. Using seven long-term experiments across a wide latitudinal gradient in Europe, we showed that growing multiple crop species in a rotation always provided higher yields for both winter and spring cereals (average +860 and +390 kg ha(-1) per year, respectively) compared with a continuous monoculture. In particular, yield gains in diverse rotations were higher in years with high temperatures and scant precipitations, i.e. conditions expected to become more frequent in the future, rendering up to c. 1000 kg ha(-1) per year compared to monocultures. Winter cereals yielded more in diverse rotations immediately after initiation of the experiment and kept this advantage constant over time. For spring cereals, the yield gain increased over time since diversification adoption, arriving to a yearly surplus of c. 500 kg ha(-1) after 50-60 years with still no sign of plateauing. Diversified rotations emerge as a promising way to adapt temperate cropping systems and contribute to food security under a changing climate. However, novel policies need to be implemented and investments made to give means and opportunities for farmers to adopt diversified crop rotations.

Authors/Creators:Marini, Lorenzo and St-Martin, Audrey and Vico, Giulia and Baldoni, Guido and Berti, Antonio and Blecharczyk, Andrzej and Malecka-Jankowiak, Irena and Morari, Francesco and Sawinska, Zuzanna and Bommarco, Riccardo
Title:Crop rotations sustain cereal yields under a changing climate
Series Name/Journal:Environmental Research Letters
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:15
Article number:124011
Number of Pages:9
Publisher:IOP PUBLISHING LTD
ISSN:1748-9326
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Climate Research
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
Keywords:barley, break crops, diversification, drought, temperature warming, wheat
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-110688
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-110688
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1088/1748-9326/abc651
Web of Science (WoS)000612928100001
ID Code:22437
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology

(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Crop Production Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:19 Feb 2021 14:03
Metadata Last Modified:19 Feb 2021 14:11

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