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FP5

ACCELERATES Report Summary

Project ID: EVK2-CT-2000-00061
Funded under: FP5-EESD
Country: Bulgaria

European crop yield database

Data sets of crop yields from the Central and East European (CEE) project countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria) were established. These data sets were based on modelling approaches for a range of crop types and for the climate change scenarios specified in the ACCELERATES project.

Three crops were approved to be used within the project:
- Barley,
- Maize and
- Wheat.

One of the main simulation tools with respect to the above data sets was the ROIMPEL model. This is a modular simulation model of crop yields limited by soil -water and -nitrogen availability, using limited easy-to-map soil and weather data. The ROIMPEL crop yield outputs were compared to the real observed crop yield data as well as to the simulated crop yield output from the CERES crop simulation model at selected specific sites and regions in the CEE project countries. Representative sites and regions from major agricultural regions in each project CEE partner country were selected.

In relation to the (cross)validation of the ROIMPEL and CERES crop models within selected CEEC sites and regions, the following was developed and disseminated among the project partners:
- A soil converter for linking the CERES model and the ROIMPEL European soil map;

- ATEAM weather data for the period 1961-2000;

- A software extracting weather data for a given ATEAM weather data set;

- Climate change scenario data for four SRES storylines and three future time slices (2011-2020, 2041-2050, 2071-2080) based on the HADCM3 model;

- Updated ROIMPEL versions creating weather files in CERES format; allowing to change the crop parameters related to water stress, water logging and nitrogen stress; tuning the stress parameters and sowing date as well as the sum of active air temperatures between emergence and maturity.

After a calibration procedure a validation of the ROIMPEL and CERES ability to simulate the phenological development of the selected crops was undertaken. The simulated ROIMPEL and CERES grain yields were in most cases in agreement with the measured data, with predicted yield results mainly within acceptable limits of measured yields. Different statistical criteria for determining goodness of the simulation models performance were also applied.

The obtained climate change scenario data for the four SRES storylines and the three future time slices based on the HADCM3 model were used in order to conduct climate change impact assessments in the project CEEC countries including:
- Projections of the expected magnitude of the impacts, expressed qualitatively;

- Description of the vulnerable/beneficial crops, as well as the reasons for their vulnerability/benefits;

- Comparison between the ROIMPEL and CERES simulated crop yield responses to the climate change scenarios.

The simulation model performance was compared with to the following important points:
- Simulation of phenological development;

- Simulation of final crop yield;

- Yield sensitivity to changes in the CO2 concentration.

Seven other GCM climate change scenarios for three time periods (2025, 2050 and 2100) and two SRES emission scenarios were also used in the Czech Republic.

All applied climate change scenarios projected a shorter growing season for the selected crops in the respective CEE countries. The HaDCM3 scenarios, including the climate change effect only, projected for example in Bulgaria, reductions in grain yield of winter barley wheat and maize, caused by a shorter crop-growing period. When the direct effect of an increased CO2 level was assumed, most GCM climate change scenarios projected an increase in winter wheat and barley. An increased level of CO2 alone had no significant impact on the simulated maize yield reductions under climate change.

The simulated climate change results for the Czech Republic showed that:
- Wheat yields tend to increase in most locations in the range of 8-25% in all three time periods;

- The site effect was caused by the site-specific soil and climatic conditions;

- Temperature variability proved to be an important factor and influenced both mean and standard deviation of the yields.

The obtained data sets include measured and ROIMPEL and CERES simulated yield (e.g. for the period 1981-2000 as well as for time slices during the 21st century) for chosen crops (wheat, barley and maize) for the selected CEEC sites and regions.

The above results have potential consequences for farmers in CEE countries such as, for example, growing mainly C3 crops, which are more sensitive to CO2 ambient enrichment than C4 crops and growing new crop cultivars and hybrids which are more adapted to projected climate change. Agricultural policy in these countries needs to deal with such changes by developing and regularly updating action plans for adapting agriculture to climate change impacts.

More information on the QUILT project can be found at: http://www.geo.ucl.ac.be/accelerates/.

Related information

Contact

Vesselin ALEXANDROV, (Head of Department of Meteorology)
Tel.: +359-2-9753986
Fax: +359-2-9884494
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