Silver lining to a climate crisis

In the article ‘Silver lining to a climate crisis in multiple prospects for alleviating crop waterlogging under future climates’, we find that yield penalties caused by crop waterlogging increase from 3–11% historically to 10–20% by 2080, with penalties reflecting a trade-off between the duration of waterlogging and the timing with which waterlogging occurs relative to crop stage. We document greater potential benefit for waterlogging-tolerant genotypes in environments with longer temperate growing seasons (e.g., UK, France, Russia, China), compared with environments with higher annualised ratios of evapotranspiration to precipitation (e.g., Australia).

Under future climates, altering sowing time and adoption of waterlogging-tolerant genotypes reduces yield penalties by 18%, while earlier sowing of winter genotypes alleviates waterlogging by 8%. We highlight the serendipitous outcome wherein waterlogging stress patterns under present conditions are likely to be similar to those in the future, suggesting that adaptations for future climates could be designed using stress patterns realised today.

The full article is here.

Article in Nature Communications is here

Image Silver Lining by Paul Downey. Used under creative commons licence. Image can be found here