Special Issue "Adapting Crops to Climate Change"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 August 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. James A. Bunce

Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory (retired), Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: photosynthesis; plant water relations; climate change; elevated CO2; water stress; high temperature stress; plant adaptation to environment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is a general consensus that the on-going increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is resulting in increases in the mean temperature and the frequency of extreme high temperature events as well as a likely increased frequency of extreme precipitation events and drought. Thus, there is a new urgency to adapt crops to climate changes in order to reduce the impact of these environmental stresses on crop yields. Of special value are studies that investigate of these stresses in relation to elevated carbon dioxide concentrations, which can modify crop responses to environmental stresses. The aim of such research is to identify the genetic traits responsible for the adaptations, rather than only identifying adapted genotypes, although that is often a necessary first step.

Dr. James Bunce
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • adaptation
  • climate change
  • crops
  • environmental stress
  • heat
  • flooding
  • drought
  • carbon dioxide

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Soybean Yield and Seed Composition Changes in Response to Increasing Atmospheric CO2 Concentration in Short-Season Canada
Received: 17 June 2019 / Revised: 23 July 2019 / Accepted: 25 July 2019 / Published: 27 July 2019
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Abstract
From 1993, we have conducted trials with the same set of old to newer soybean cultivars to determine the impact of plant breeding on seed yield, physiological and agronomic characteristics, and seed composition. Since 1993, global atmospheric [CO2] increased by 47 [...] Read more.
From 1993, we have conducted trials with the same set of old to newer soybean cultivars to determine the impact of plant breeding on seed yield, physiological and agronomic characteristics, and seed composition. Since 1993, global atmospheric [CO2] increased by 47 ppm. The objective of our current analysis with this data set was to determine if there were changes in soybean seed yield, quality or phenology attributable to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration (eCO2), temperature or precipitation. Additionally, we estimated genetic gain annually. Over 23 years, there was a significant increase in atmospheric [CO2] but not in-season average maximum or minimum temperatures, or average in-season precipitation. Seed yield was increased significantly by eCO2, higher precipitation and higher minimum temperatures during flowering and podding. Yield decreased with higher minimum temperatures during vegetative growth and seed filling. Seed oil and also seed protein plus oil concentrations were both reduced with eCO2. Phenology has also changed, with soybean cultivars spending less time in vegetative growth, while time to maturity remained constant. Over the 23 years of the study, genetic improvement rates decreased as [CO2] increased. Newer cultivars are not better adapted to eCO2 and soybean breeders may need to intentionally select for favourable responses to eCO2 in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adapting Crops to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Growth and Physiological Responses of Temperate Pasture Species to Consecutive Heat and Drought Stresses
Received: 25 June 2019 / Revised: 13 July 2019 / Accepted: 14 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
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Abstract
Heat and drought are two major limiting factors for perennial pasture production in south eastern Australia. Although previous studies have focused on the effects of prolonged heat and drought stresses on pasture growth and physiology, the effects of short term recurring combined heat [...] Read more.
Heat and drought are two major limiting factors for perennial pasture production in south eastern Australia. Although previous studies have focused on the effects of prolonged heat and drought stresses on pasture growth and physiology, the effects of short term recurring combined heat and drought stresses and the recovery from them have not been studied in detail. A controlled environment experiment was conducted to investigate the growth and physiological responses of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata L.), tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) and chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) plants exposed to two consecutive seven day heat (control = 25/15 °C day/night; moderate = 30/20 °C day/night and severe = 35/30 °C day/night) and/or drought stresses each followed by a seven day recovery period. During the first moderate and severe heat and drought treatments, maximum photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (Fv/Fm), cell membrane permeability and relative leaf water content decreased in chicory and tall fescue compared to perennial ryegrass and cocksfoot. However, during the second moderate heat and drought treatment, all species showed less reduction in the same parameters suggesting that these species acclimated to consecutive moderate heat and drought stresses. Chicory was the only species that was not affected by the second severe heat and drought stress while physiological parameters of all grass species were reduced closer to minimum values. Irrigation mitigated the negative effects of heat stress by cooling the canopies 1–3 °C below air temperatures with the most cooling observed in chicory. All the species exposed to moderate heat and drought were fully recovered and those exposed to severe heat and drought recovered partially at the end of the experiment. These findings suggest that chicory may be a potential species for areas subject to frequent heat and drought stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adapting Crops to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Photosynthetic Responses of Canola and Wheat to Elevated Levels of CO2, O3 and Water Deficit in Open-Top Chambers
Received: 26 April 2019 / Revised: 16 May 2019 / Accepted: 18 May 2019 / Published: 12 June 2019
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Abstract
The effects of elevated CO2 (700 ppm) and O3 (80 ppb) alone and in combination on the photosynthetic efficiency of canola and wheat plants were investigated in open-top chambers (OTCs). The plants were fumigated for four weeks under well-watered and water-stressed [...] Read more.
The effects of elevated CO2 (700 ppm) and O3 (80 ppb) alone and in combination on the photosynthetic efficiency of canola and wheat plants were investigated in open-top chambers (OTCs). The plants were fumigated for four weeks under well-watered and water-stressed (water deficit) conditions. The fast chlorophyll a fluorescence transients were measured after 2 and 4 weeks of fumigation, as well as in control plants, and analyzed by the JIP-test, which is a non-destructive, non-invasive, informative, very fast and inexpensive technique used to evaluate the changes in photosynthetic efficiency. Biomass measurements were taken only after 4 weeks of fumigation. The performance index (PItotal), an overall parameter calculated from the JIP-test formulae, was reduced by elevated CO2 and O3 under well-watered conditions. In the absence of any other treatment, water stress caused a decrease of the PItotal, and it was partly eliminated by fumigation with elevated CO2 and CO2 + O3. This finding was also supported by the biomass results, which revealed a higher biomass under elevated CO2 and CO2 + O3. The decrease in biomass induced by elevated O3 was likely caused by the decline of photosynthetic efficiency. Our findings suggest that elevated CO2 reduces the drought effect both in the absence and presence of O3 in canola and wheat plants. The study also indicates that elevated O3 would pose a threat in future to agricultural crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adapting Crops to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Impacts of Climate Change on Phenology and Quality Traits of Vitis vinifera L.: The Contribution of Local Knowledge
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 4 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 9 May 2019
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Abstract
Developing adaptation strategies in Vitis vinifera, a crop sensitive to climate change, is crucial for resilience of traditional viticultural systems, especially in climate-vulnerable areas like the Mediterranean basin. A progressive warming is demonstrated to alter the geographical distribution of grapevine, reducing land [...] Read more.
Developing adaptation strategies in Vitis vinifera, a crop sensitive to climate change, is crucial for resilience of traditional viticultural systems, especially in climate-vulnerable areas like the Mediterranean basin. A progressive warming is demonstrated to alter the geographical distribution of grapevine, reducing land capability for typical grapes and vine productions in most Southern European districts traditionally specialized in tree crops. Grapevine growth and reproduction under climate change require a continuous monitoring to adapt agronomic practices and strategies to global change. The present study illustrates an empirical approach grounded on a set of bio-physical indicators assessing the genotype-related response to climate variation. This approach was tested in Umbria, central Italy, to verify the response of some major international and local grapevine varieties to climate variation during a relatively long time interval (1995–2015). Long-term data for ripening time and berry quality collected in the study area were correlated to representative bioclimatic indices including Winkler, Huglin, and Cool night indicators. Results of this study highlighted the increase of air temperature (reflecting the inherent growth in thermal availability for maturation) and the alteration of precipitation patterns toward more intense precipitation. Climate variability exerted distinctive impacts on grapevine phenology depending on the related genotype. Empirical findings underline the usefulness of a permanent field monitoring of the relationship between selected climate variables and grape ripening with the aim to develop adaptive viticultural practices at farm’s scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adapting Crops to Climate Change)
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