Extreme Weather Events: Implications for Food Security and Natural Capital

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Land–Climate Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (5 March 2024) | Viewed by 4022

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, University of Tasmania, Newnham Drive, Launceston, TAS 7248, Australia
Interests: agricultural development; sustainable agriculture; animal production; agriculture; sustainable development strategies; sustainability; climate change and agriculture; crop management; sustainable development; climate change
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Guest Editor
1. Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, University of Tasmania, Newnham Drive, Launceston 7248, TAS, Australia
2. Digital Agriculture–Land Use Function and Evaluation-AgResearch Grasslands Research Centre, Tennent Drive, 11 Dairy Farm Road, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
Interests: sustainable agriculture; agriculture; soil fertility organic farming; sustainability; climate change and agriculture; agroecology
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, University of Tasmania, Newnham, Launceston 7248, Australia
Interests: agriculture; crop modeling; climate change and agriculture; climate change adaptation; genotype x environment interaction; farming systems; soil carbon; GHG emissions; yield gap
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
Interests: ecosystem services; land system change; environmental conservation; management; land use and land cover change; land use intensification

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Guest Editor
Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20782, USA
Interests: environmental science; agriculture; biofuels; carbon; land use
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Guest Editor
Faculty of Agrobiotechnical Sciences Osijek, Department for Plant Production and Biotechnology, University of Osijek, Vladimira Preloga 1, 31000 Osijek, Croatia
Interests: Irrigation; crop water requirements; soil water sensors; sustainable agriculture; environment; soil and water conservation; water resources management; crop production; climate change and agriculture; environmental impact assessment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Frequent extreme weather events are the most visible consequences of climate change and need more attention as agriculture, i.e., food production and the environment, are among the most vulnerable sectors.

The intensification of climate change driven by global warming is threatening the sustainability, food security, and prosperity of many agricultural communities across the world. The higher frequency and intensity of climate variability and extreme climatic events have significantly affected agricultural productivity growth in the last 60 years. Coupled with increasing global population growth and demand for food, increasingly frequent extreme climatic events elicit an urgent and compelling need for the development of new knowledge, technologies and practices enabling scalable, sustainable intensification. Complementarities between adaptation and mitigation options should be considered based on their socio-economic and environmental impacts and their contribution to sustainable development.

The increased variability of driving climatic variables (rainfall, temperature, and atmospheric CO2 concentration) may amplify the effects of climate change influencing crop and livestock production, particularly as extreme events intensify. More frequent droughts, heat waves, and lower soil water availability can markedly reduce farm income while also causing significant natural, human, and social costs through animal mortality, crop failures, loss of vegetation, biodiversity, and soil health with deleterious effects on multiple ecosystem services, staff departures, and labor shortages, and destruction of farm infrastructure. The global scientific community must urgently prioritize new research on systemic adaptation to extreme weather events, understanding the potential in land use and sustainability across space and over time for guiding strategic decisions that can help farming systems adapt to the current climate emergency, anticipate opportunities, avoid disasters, and cope with surprises. Transformational change is ever called for but hitherto somewhat elusive. Transformative change may be realised through bundled operational innovation networks (physical infrastructure, research platforms, economic diversification, socio-cultural and institutional change) that can be together utilised for knowledge exchange and co-creation.

A better understanding of the direct and indirect impact of extreme weather events on food security and on natural, social and economic capital could provide knowledge on how to adapt agri-food systems to such events.

The participatory, collaborative, and interdisciplinary approach considered in this Special Issue encourages the analysis of the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events over multiple land-use options and land-use transitions, generating relevant information to support the debate between stakeholders (researchers, farmers, extension services, funding members, industry, government, and consumers), designing more profitable, resilient, and sustainable farm systems. Regionally relevant works are welcome, as are holistic systems-based adaptation and mitigation assessments, as well as developing alternative regional land-use plans.

Dr. Matthew Harrison
Dr. Franco Bilotto
Dr. Ke Liu
Dr. Marcellus Caldas
Dr. Ritvik Sahajpal
Dr. Monika Marković
Guest Editors

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. Land 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 2600 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 crisis
  • cropping systems
  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • land use intensification
  • extreme weather events
  • land adaptation and mitigation
  • climate change
  • crop yield and quality
  • livestock production
  • GHG emissions
  • land use change
  • adaptations

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

26 pages, 3448 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Impact of Future Seasonal Climate Extremes on Crop Evapotranspiration of Maize in Western Kansas Using a Machine Learning Approach
by Kelechi Igwe, Vaishali Sharda and Trevor Hefley
Land 2023, 12(8), 1500; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12081500 - 28 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1285
Abstract
Data-driven technologies are employed in agriculture to optimize the use of limited resources. Crop evapotranspiration (ET) estimates the actual amount of water that crops require at different growth stages, thereby proving to be the essential information needed for precision irrigation. Crop ET is [...] Read more.
Data-driven technologies are employed in agriculture to optimize the use of limited resources. Crop evapotranspiration (ET) estimates the actual amount of water that crops require at different growth stages, thereby proving to be the essential information needed for precision irrigation. Crop ET is essential in areas like the US High Plains, where farmers rely on groundwater for irrigation. The sustainability of irrigated agriculture in the region is threatened by diminishing groundwater levels, and the increasing frequency of extreme events caused by climate change further exacerbates the situation. These conditions can significantly affect crop ET rates, leading to water stress, which adversely affects crop yields. In this study, we analyze historical climate data using a machine learning model to determine which of the climate extreme indices most influences crop ET. Crop ET is estimated using reference ET derived from the FAO Penman–Monteith equation, which is multiplied with the crop coefficient data estimated from the remotely sensed normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). We found that the climate extreme indices of consecutive dry days and the mean weekly maximum temperatures most influenced crop ET. It was found that temperature-derived indices influenced crop ET more than precipitation-derived indices. Under the future climate scenarios, we predict that crop ET will increase by 0.4% and 1.7% in the near term, by 3.1% and 5.9% in the middle term, and by 3.8% and 9.6% at the end of the century under low greenhouse gas emission and high greenhouse gas emission scenarios, respectively. These predicted changes in seasonal crop ET can help agricultural producers to make well-informed decisions to optimize groundwater resources. Full article
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14 pages, 1806 KiB  
Article
Selenium Nanoparticles Improve Physiological and Phytochemical Properties of Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) under Drought Stress Conditions
by Javad Asghari, Hassan Mahdavikia, Esmaeil Rezaei-Chiyaneh, Farzad Banaei-Asl, Mostafa Amani Machiani and Matthew Tom Harrison
Land 2023, 12(1), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010164 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1647
Abstract
Drought impacts on food security, land degradation and rates of biodiversity loss. Here, we aimed to investigate selenium nanoparticles (Se NPs) influenced plant resilience to drought using the morphological, physiological, and essential oil (EO) quantity and quality of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) [...] Read more.
Drought impacts on food security, land degradation and rates of biodiversity loss. Here, we aimed to investigate selenium nanoparticles (Se NPs) influenced plant resilience to drought using the morphological, physiological, and essential oil (EO) quantity and quality of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) as drought proxies. Treatments included irrigation at 100% field capacity (FC100) as no stress, 80% FC as moderate water stress (FC80) and 60% FC as severe water stress (FC60), together with application of Se NPs at either 0 mg L−1 (control), 50 mg L−1, or 100 mg L−1. The highest (257 g m−2) and lowest (185 g m−2) dry matter yields were achieved in nil-stress and severe-water-stress conditions, respectively. Dry matter yields decreased by 15% and 28% under moderate and severe water stress, respectively. Applying Se NPs enhanced the dry matter yields by 14% and 13% for the 50 and 100 mg L−1 treatments, respectively. The greatest EO content (1.0%) and EO yield (1.9 g m−2) were observed under severe water stress. Applying Se NPs of 50 and 100 mg L−1 enhanced the essential oil content by 33% and 36% and the essential oil yield by 52% and 53%, respectively. We identified 21 constituents in the EO, with primary constituents being methyl chavicol (40%–44%), linalool (38–42%), and 1,8-cineole (5–6%). The greatest methyl chavicol and linalool concentrations were obtained in FC80 with 50 mg L−1 Se NPs. The highest proline (17 µg g−1 fresh weight) and soluble sugar content (6 mg g−1 fresh weight) were obtained under severe water stress (FC60) for the 50 mg L−1 Se NP treatment. Our results demonstrate that low-concentration Se NPs increase plant tolerance and improve the EO quantity and quality of basil under drought stress. Full article
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