A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

Decline in climate-resilience of European wheat

Open Access hybrid publication

Publication Details
Authors: Kahiluoto Helena, Kaseva Janne, Balek Janne, Olesen Jørgen E., Ruiz-Ramos Margarita, Gobin Anne,
Kersebaum Kurt Christian,Takáč Jozef, Ruget Francoise, Ferrise Roberto, Bezak Pavol, Capellades Gemma,
Dibarik Camilla, Mäkinen Hanna, Nendel Claas, Ventrella Domenico, Rodríguez Alfredo, Bindi Marco, Trnka Mirek

Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
Publication year: 2019
Language: English
Volume number: 116
Issue number: 1
Start page: 123
End page: 128
Number of pages: 6
ISSN: 0027-8424
eISSN: 1091-6490
JUFO-Level of this publication: 3
Open Access: Open Access hybrid publication


Food security relies on the resilience of staple food crops to climatic variability and extremes, but the climate resilience of European wheat is unknown. A diversity of responses to disturbance is considered a key determinant of resilience. The capacity of a sole crop genotype to perform well under climatic variability is limited; therefore, a set of cultivars with diverse responses to weather conditions critical to crop yield is required. Here, we show a decline in the response diversity of wheat in farmers’ fields in most European countries after 2002–2009 based on 101,000 cultivar yield observations. Similar responses to weather were identified in cultivar trials among central European countries and southern European countries. A response diversity hotspot appeared in the trials in Slovakia, while response diversity “deserts” were identified in Czechia and Germany and for durum wheat in southern Europe. Positive responses to abundant precipitation
were lacking. This assessment suggests that current breeding programs and cultivar selection practices do not sufficiently prepare for climatic uncertainty and variability. Consequently, the demand for climate resilience of staple food crops such as wheat must be better articulated. Assessments and communication of response diversity enable collective learning across supply chains. Increased awareness could foster governance of resilience through research and breeding programs, incentives, and regulation.

Last updated on 2020-20-03 at 10:03