MACSUR science pick of the month: Designing future barley ideotypes using a crop model ensemble
Tao F., Rötter R.P., Palosuo T., Diaz-Ambrona C.G.H., Inés Minguez M., Semenov M.A., Kersebaum K.C., Nendel C., Cammarano D., Hoffmann H., Ewert F., Dambreville A., Martre P., Rodríguez L., Ruiz-Ramos M., Gaiser T., Höhn J.G., Salo T., Ferrise R., Bindi M., Schulman A.H. 2017. European Journal of Agronomy 82, 144-162. doi: 10.1016/j.eja.2016.10.012
- Higher frequency of adverse weather events with climate change require new, adapted crop breeds.
- A new approach was developed to design future crop ideotypes (crop breeds with ideal characteristics) using a crop model ensemble.
- The approach was applied to design barley ideotypes for Boreal and Mediterranean climatic zones.
- The most favorable climate-zone-specific barley ideotypes were proposed.
- The proposed barley breeds can be promising under future climate change conditions.
Climate change and its associated higher frequency and severity of adverse weather events require adapted crop breeds. Process-based ecophysiological modelling offers a powerful means to better target and accelerate development of new crop cultivars. Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is an important crop throughout the world, and a good model for study of the genetics of stress adaptation because many quantitative trait loci and candidate genes for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance have been identified in it. Here, we developed a new approach to design future crop ideotypes using an ensemble of eight barley simulation models (i.e. APSIM, CropSyst, HERMES, MCWLA, MONICA, SIMPLACE, SiriusQuality, and WOFOST), and applied it to design climate-resilient barley ideotypes for boreal and Mediterranean climatic zones in Europe.
The results showed that specific barley genotypes (breeds) could be promising under future climate change conditions, resulting in increased yields and low inter-annual yield variability. In contrast, other genotypes could result in substantial yield declines. The most favorable climate-zone-specific barley ideotypes were further proposed, having combinations of several key genetic traits in terms of phenology, leaf growth, photosynthesis, drought tolerance, and grain formation. For both boreal and Mediterranean climatic zones, barley ideotypes under future climatic conditions should have a longer growing period for producing grains, lower leaf senescence rate, larger efficiency of using sunlight, and higher drought tolerance. Such characteristics can produce substantial positive impacts on yields under contrasting conditions. Moreover, barley ideotypes should have a low sensitivity for daylight length and high sensitivity for sensing spring season for the boreal climatic zone; for the Mediterranean, in contrast, it should have a low sensitivity for daylight length and low sensitivity for sesning spring season. The drought-tolerance trait is more beneficial for the Mediterranean than for the boreal climatic zone. Our study demonstrates a sound approach to design future barley ideotypes based on an ensemble of well-tested, diverse crop models and on integration of knowledge from multiple disciplines. The robustness of model-aided ideotypes design can be further enhanced by continuously improving crop models and enhancing information exchange between modellers, agro-meteorologists, geneticists, physiologists, and plant breeders. [Abstract edited by M. Köchy]
The Knowledge Hub FACCE MACSUR brings together the excellence of research in modelling grasslands, livestock, crops, farms, and agricultural trade in order to improve the modelling of climate change impacts on European agriculture and in order to illustrate to political decision makers how climate will affect regional farming systems and food production in Europe. To achieve this goal, MACSUR engages in a range of activities, including methodological comparisons of models and use of their outputs (scaling, uncertainty), linking of complementary models from different sectors, involvement of stakeholders, training of young scientists, and establishing a community of practice across a broad range of scientific disciplines. The five-year project started in June 2012.
FACCE MACSUR is organized as a Knowledge Hub, a new financial and organizational instrument. The novelty of MACSUR lies in the in-kind contributions of 2 million euros which, in addition to the 6 million euros of new money, contribute to facilitating the convergence of already funded and ongoing research, as well as funding new research [financial figures refer to the period 1 June 2012 - 31 May 2015 and were established on preliminary accounting data]. The project includes currently 70 institutions from 18 countries. Activities are funded by national agencies, with the amount of funds and the regulation of their use governed at the national level.
|Collaboration across countries and disciplines||Advancing modelling for risk assessment of climate change impacts||Outlook and remaining challenges||Interaction with stakeholders: bridging the gap|
|Video summary of the Bilbao Colloquium|
- Creating a forum for knowledge exchange across science disciplines.
- Adoption of good-practice examples from other scientific communities.
- Structured description of models and comparisons of model performance.
- Selection of regional case studies as showcases of integrated and inter-disciplinary modelling work.
- Training of young scientists.
- Development of European Representative Agricultural Pathways as input to global scenario exercises.
- Development of a data classification and rating tool for exploration of existing data sets.
- Advancement of knowledge in modelling of crop production, grassland production, price development.
- Collaboration on new funded projects.
- More than hundred papers on methodological aspects of modelling food security published in peer-reviewed journals.
- Overview papers in high-profile journals.
- Major international scientific conferences and workshops.
Regional case studies
The purpose of regional case studies is a simultaneous and interlinked development of a common conceptual framework and actual models and model links to assist policy makers and actors in the agri-food chain in identifying effective and efficient adaptation and mitigation measures and potential consequence scenarios, e.g. impact on food yield, quality, nutritive value, disease load etc. in perceived hotspots of climate impacts. The studies are geared to ansower the question "what would be the different contributions of different European adaptation strategies to global food security until 2050 at different scales (farm to EU) while keeping the GHG targets?"
Three case studies in Northern Savo (Finland), Mostviertel (Austria), and Oristano (Sardinia, Italy) have been selected as showcase pilot studies to represent the farming systems in northern, central and southern Europe. The case studies expand existing case studies. For compatibility with international research networks AgMIP and ISIMIP the Regional Pilot Studies will apply the new Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (especially SSP2 "continuation" but also SSP3 "fragmentation") in conjunction with the Representative CO2 Concentration Pathway of 8.5 W/m2 (most similar to the SRES A2 emission scenario of the IPCC reports).
FACCE MACSUR integrated Regional Pilot Studies, Workshop results