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Extreme heat effects on wheat senescence in India

Author: Lobell, D.B.
Author: Sibley, A.
Author: Ortiz-Monasterio, I.
Year: 2012
ISSN: 1758-678X
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10883/2871
Abstract: An important source of uncertainty in anticipating the effects of climate change on agriculture is limited understanding of crop responses to extremely high temperatures1, 2. This uncertainty partly reflects the relative lack of observations of crop behaviour in farmers? fields under extreme heat. We used nine years of satellite measurements of wheat growth in northern India to monitor rates of wheat senescence following exposure to temperatures greater than 34 °C. We detect a statistically significant acceleration of senescence from extreme heat, above and beyond the effects of increased average temperatures. Simulations with two commonly used process-based crop models indicate that existing models underestimate the effects of heat on senescence. As the onset of senescence is an important limit to grain filling, and therefore grain yields, crop models probably underestimate yield losses for +2 °C by as much as 50% for some sowing dates. These results imply that warming presents an even greater challenge to wheat than implied by previous modelling studies, and that the effectiveness of adaptations will depend on how well they reduce crop sensitivity to very hot days.
Language: English
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact CIMMYT-Knowledge-Center@cgiar.org indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Article
Country: India
Region: South Asia
Pages: 186-189
Journal: Nature Climate Change
Journal volume: 2
DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1356


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  • Wheat
    Wheat - breeding, phytopathology, physiology, quality, biotech

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