Special Issue "Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Farming Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Won-Ho Nam
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
School of Social Safety and Systems Engineering, Institute of Agricultural Environmental Science, National Agricultural Water Research Center, Hankyong National University, Anseong, Gyeonggi 17579, Republic of Korea
Interests: irrigation and drainage engineering; agricultural drought and water resources management; drought monitoring, mitigation, planning, and policy; risk and vulnerability management; remote sensing for drought monitoring and management; soil moisture and hydrologic/watershed modeling; - agrometeorology and climate teleconnections; crop simulation modeling and decision support tools to improve crop management
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change is a significant and growing threat to food security, already affecting vulnerable populations in many developing countries and expected to affect an ever-increasing number of people across more areas in the future unless immediate action is taken. Therefore, adaptation strategies need to be developed and tested to compensate for the negative impact of climate change on cropping systems.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines food security as a ‘‘situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life’’.

Climate change affects agriculture and food production in complex ways. It affects food production directly through changes in agroecological conditions and indirectly by affecting growth and distribution of incomes and, thus, demand for agricultural produce. Impacts have been quantified in numerous studies and under various sets of assumptions.

This Special Issue will focus on “Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security”. We welcome novel research, reviews and opinion pieces covering all related topics, including climate change and adaptation, mitigation, drought, evapotranspiration, crop water requirements, remote sensing, water use efficiency, soil moisture, crop yield gap and loss, management solutions, modeling, case-studies from the field, and policy positions.

Assist. Prof. Dr. Won-Ho Nam
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agronomy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Climate change and adaptation
  • Drought Evapotranspiration
  • Crop water requirements
  • Crop modeling
  • Remote sensing
  • Food security
  • Water use efficiency
  • Soil moisture
  • Crop yield gap and loss

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Water Stress on Microbial Community and Activity in Sandy and Loamy Soils
Agronomy 2020, 10(9), 1429; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091429 - 19 Sep 2020
Abstract
Prolonged drought and extreme precipitation can have a significant impact on the activity and structure of soil microbial communities. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of drought length on the dynamics of mineral nitrogen, enzyme activities and bacterial diversity [...] Read more.
Prolonged drought and extreme precipitation can have a significant impact on the activity and structure of soil microbial communities. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of drought length on the dynamics of mineral nitrogen, enzyme activities and bacterial diversity in two soils of different texture (sand and silt loam, according to USDA classification). An additional objective was to evaluate the effect of compost on the alleviation of soil microbial responses to stress conditions, i.e. alternating periods of drought and excessive soil moisture. The pot study was carried out in a greenhouse under controlled conditions. Compost was added at an amount equal to 3% of soil to the sandy soil, which was characterised by a significantly lower water retention capacity. Specific levels of water stress conditions were created through application of drought and soil watering periods. For each soil, four levels of moisture regimes were set-up, including optimal conditions kept at 60% of field water holding capacity, and three levels of water stress: The low level—2 week period without watering; the medium level—1 month drought period followed by watering to full but short-term soil saturation with water; and the high level—2 month drought period followed by full and long-term saturation with the same total amount of water, as in other variants. The soil water regime strongly modified the activities of dehydrogenases and acid and alkaline phosphatase, as well as the bacterial diversity. Loamy soil exhibited greater resistance to the inhibition of soil enzymatic activity. After irrigation, following both a 1 month and 2 month drought, the enzyme activities and nitrification largely recovered in soil with a loamy texture. Drought induced substantial shifts in the functional diversity of bacterial communities. The use of such C substrates, as carboxylic and acetic acids, was strongly inhibited by water deficit. Water deficit induced changes in the relative abundances of particular phyla, for example, an increase in Acidobacteria or a decrease in Verrucomicrobia. The study clearly proves the greater susceptibility of microbial communities to drought in sandy soils and the important role of exogenous organic matter in protecting microbial activity in drought periods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security)
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Open AccessArticle
Evapotranspiration and Precipitation over Pasture and Soybean Areas in the Xingu River Basin, an Expanding Amazonian Agricultural Frontier
Agronomy 2020, 10(8), 1112; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10081112 - 01 Aug 2020
Abstract
The conversion from primary forest to agriculture drives widespread changes that have the potential to modify the hydroclimatology of the Xingu River Basin. Moreover, climate impacts over eastern Amazonia have been strongly related to pasture and soybean expansion. This study carries out a [...] Read more.
The conversion from primary forest to agriculture drives widespread changes that have the potential to modify the hydroclimatology of the Xingu River Basin. Moreover, climate impacts over eastern Amazonia have been strongly related to pasture and soybean expansion. This study carries out a remote-sensing, spatial-temporal approach to analyze inter- and intra-annual patterns in evapotranspiration (ET) and precipitation (PPT) over pasture and soybean areas in the Xingu River Basin during a 13-year period. We used ET estimates from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and PPT estimates from the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) satellite. Our results showed that the annual average ET in the pasture was ~20% lower than the annual average in soybean areas. We show that PPT is notably higher in the northern part of the Xingu River Basin than the drier southern part. ET, on the other hand, appears to be strongly linked to land-use and land-cover (LULC) patterns in the Xingu River Basin. Lower annual ET averages occur in southern areas where dominant LULC is savanna, pasture, and soybean, while more intense ET is observed over primary forests (northern portion of the basin). The primary finding of our study is related to the fact that the seasonality patterns of ET can be strongly linked to LULC in the Xingu River Basin. Further studies should focus on the relationship between ET, gross primary productivity, and water-use efficiency in order to better understand the coupling between water and carbon cycling over this expanding Amazonian agricultural frontier. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security)
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Open AccessArticle
Uniparental Inheritance of Salinity Tolerance and Beneficial Phytochemicals in Rice
Agronomy 2020, 10(7), 1032; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10071032 - 17 Jul 2020
Abstract
Salinity stress is one of the most problematic constraints to significantly reduce rice productivity. The Saltol QTL (quantitative trait locus) has been known as one among many principal genes/QTLs responsible for salinity tolerance in rice. However, the introgression of the Saltol QTL from [...] Read more.
Salinity stress is one of the most problematic constraints to significantly reduce rice productivity. The Saltol QTL (quantitative trait locus) has been known as one among many principal genes/QTLs responsible for salinity tolerance in rice. However, the introgression of the Saltol QTL from the donor (male) into the recipient (female) cultivars induces great recessions from the progeny generation, which results in heavy fieldwork and greater cost and time required for breeding. In this study, the F1 generation of the cross TBR1 (female cultivar, salinity tolerant) × KD18 (male cultivar, salinity susceptible) was preliminarily treated with N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) to induce the mutants M1. Results on physiological traits show that all the M2 (self-pollinated from M1) and M3 (self-pollinated from M2) individuals obtain salinity tolerant levels as the recurrent TBR1. Twelve SSR (simple sequence repeat) markers involved in the Saltol QTL (RM493, RM562, RM10694, RM10720, RM10793, RM10852, RM13197, RM201, RM149, RM508, RM587, and RM589) and other markers related to yield-contributing traits and disease resistance, as well as water and nitrogen use, have efficacy that is polymorphic. The phenotype and genotype analyses indicate that the salinity tolerant Saltol QTL, growth parameter, grain yield and quality, pest resistance, water and nitrogen use efficacy, and beneficial phytochemicals including antioxidants, momilactone A (MA) and momilactone B (MB) are uniparentally inherited from the recurrent (female) TBR1 cultivar and stabilized in the M2 and M3 generations. Further MNU applications should be examined to induce the uniparental inheritance of other salinity tolerant genes such as OsCPK17, OsRMC, OsNHX1, OsHKT1;5 to target rice cultivars. However, the mechanism of inducing this novel uniparental inheritance for salinity tolerance by MNU application needs elaboration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security)
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Open AccessArticle
The Adaptability of APSIM-Wheat Model in the Middle and Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River Plain of China: A Case Study of Winter Wheat in Hubei Province
Agronomy 2020, 10(7), 981; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10070981 - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
The middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River (MLYR) plain represent the second-largest wheat producing area in China; the winter wheat-rice system is one of the main planting systems in this region. The use of the agricultural production system simulator (APSIM)-wheat model [...] Read more.
The middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River (MLYR) plain represent the second-largest wheat producing area in China; the winter wheat-rice system is one of the main planting systems in this region. The use of the agricultural production system simulator (APSIM)-wheat model to simulate wheat production potential and evaluate the impact of future climate change on wheat production in this region is of great importance. In this study, the adaptability of the APSIM-wheat model in the MLYR was evaluated based on observational data collected in field experiments and daily meteorological data from experimental stations in Wuhan, Jingmen, and Xiangyang in Hubei province. The results showed significant positive relationships between model-predicted wheat growth duration from sowing to anthesis and maturity and the observed values, with coefficients of determination (R2) in ranges of 0.90–0.97 and 0.93–0.96, respectively. The normalized root-mean-square error (NRMSE) of the simulated growth durations and measured values were lower than 1.6%, and the refined index of agreement (dr-values) was in the range of 0.74–0.87. The percent mean absolute relative error (PMARE) was cited here as a new index, with a value below 1.4%, indicating that the model’s rating was excellent. The model’s performance in terms of grain yield and above-ground biomass simulation was also acceptable, although it was not as good as the growth periods simulation. The R2 value was higher than 0.75 and 0.72 for the simulation of grain yield and biomass, respectively. The indices NRMSE and PMARE were lower than 19.8% and 19.9%, and the dr-value was higher than 0.71. According to our results, APSIM-wheat was an effective and accurate model for simulating the phenology and yield production processes of wheat in the MLYR, and the results also provided a theoretical basis and technical support for further research on the yield potential of wheat-rice rotation planting systems with clarification of the key factors limiting the yield gap in this region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Geo-Agriculture: Reviewing Opportunities through Which the Geosphere Can Help Address Emerging Crop Production Challenges
Agronomy 2020, 10(7), 971; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10070971 - 06 Jul 2020
Abstract
The agricultural sector faces looming challenges including dwindling fertiliser reserves, environmental impacts of conventional soil inputs, and increasingly difficult growing conditions wrought by climate change. Naturally-occurring rocks and minerals may help address these challenges. In this case, we explore opportunities through which the [...] Read more.
The agricultural sector faces looming challenges including dwindling fertiliser reserves, environmental impacts of conventional soil inputs, and increasingly difficult growing conditions wrought by climate change. Naturally-occurring rocks and minerals may help address these challenges. In this case, we explore opportunities through which the geosphere could support viable agricultural systems, primarily via a literature review supplemented by data analysis and preliminary-scale experimentation. Our objective is to focus on opportunities specifically relating to emerging agricultural challenges. Our findings reveal that a spectrum of common geological materials can assist across four key agricultural challenges: 1. Providing environmentally-sustainable fertiliser deposits especially for the two key elements in food production, nitrogen (via use of slow release N-rich clays), and phosphorus (via recovery of the biomineral struvite) as well as through development of formulations to tap into mineral nutrient reserves underlying croplands. 2. Reducing contamination from farms—using clays, zeolites, and hydroxides to intercept, and potentially recycle nutrients discharged from paddocks. 3. Embedding drought resilience into agricultural landscapes by increasing soil moisture retention (using high surface area minerals including zeolite and smectite), boosting plant availability of drought protective elements (using basalts, smectites, and zeolites), and decreasing soil surface temperature (using reflective smectites, zeolites, and pumices), and 4. mitigating emissions of all three major greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide (using fast-weathering basalts), methane (using iron oxides), and nitrous oxide (using nitrogen-sorbing clays). Drawbacks of increased geological inputs into agricultural systems include an increased mining footprint, potential increased loads of suspended sediments in high-rainfall catchments, changes to geo-ecological balances, and possible harmful health effects to practitioners extracting and land-applying the geological materials. Our review highlights potential for ‘geo-agriculture’ approaches to not only help meet several key emerging challenges that threaten sustainable food and fiber production, but also to contribute to achieving some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals—‘Zero Hunger,’ ‘Life on Land,’ and ‘Climate Action.’ Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security)
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