Climate Variability and Durum Wheat Adaptation Using the AquaCrop Model in Southern Sardinia

Antonino Soddu, Roberto Deidda, Marino Marrocu, Roberto Meloni, Claudio Paniconi, Ralf Ludwig, Marcella Sodde, Giuseppe Mascaro, Enrica Perra
2013 Procedia Environmental Sciences  
Durum wheat is the most important C3 rainfed crop in southern Sardinia, Italy. Climate variability and socioeconomic factors are the main sources of uncertainty and concern for farmers in this region that has experienced severe drought conditions and problems of competing water demands during the last decades. Within the framework of a European Union project, CLIMB (Climate Induced Changes in the Mediterranean Region), durum wheat production was simulated under future climate change conditions
more » ... change conditions to evaluate the effects of increased maximum temperature and high rainfall variability on crop yield, and the adaptability of the crop response. The first stage of this work was devoted to properly calibrating the AquaCrop model and testing its predictive performance, prior to applying it under future climate change scenarios. Durum wheat (CV Creso) yield and daily meteorological data collected and recorded in the Agris experimental fields during the period 1995-2012 were systematically checked and analyzed before their use for calibration of the AquaCrop model. After calibration the model showed a generally good performance with a significant correlation between observed and simulated yield for durum wheat during the considered period, including the year 1995 that was characterized by a severe drought that led to water stress conditions. A future scenario of climate change was then used as input to the AquaCrop model to predict wheat yield response and to investigate the control of water availability on rainfed crop production for the period 1951-2100. The simulated future scenarios show potential improved productivity arising from the increased CO2 concentration. This encouraging result is however tempered by increased uncertainty and fluctuations in rainfall during the fall and early winter periods (September-December). The possible tradeoffs between these factors, as well as the expected negative effects of increased maximum temperatures, are being further examined.
doi:10.1016/j.proenv.2013.06.092 fatcat:etknzga235gwdicsexfzined5e