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Characterizing drought stress and trait influence on maize yield under current and future conditions

Citation

Harrison, MT and Tardieu, F and Dong, Z and Messina, CD and Hammer, GL, Characterizing drought stress and trait influence on maize yield under current and future conditions, Global Change Biology, 20, (3) pp. 867-878. ISSN 1354-1013 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1111/gcb.12381

Abstract

Global climate change is predicted to increase temperatures, alter geographical patterns of rainfall and increase the frequency of extreme climatic events. Such changes are likely to alter the timing and magnitude of drought stresses experienced by crops. This study used new developments in the classification of crop water stress to first characterize the typology and frequency of drought-stress patterns experienced by European maize crops and their associated distributions of grain yield, and second determine the influence of the breeding traits anthesis-silking synchrony, maturity and kernel number on yield in different drought-stress scenarios, under current and future climates. Under historical conditions, a low-stress scenario occurred most frequently (ca. 40%), and three other stress types exposing crops to late-season stresses each occurred in ca. 20% of cases. A key revelation shown was that the four patterns will also be the most dominant stress patterns under 2050 conditions. Future frequencies of low drought stress were reduced by ca. 15%, and those of severe water deficit during grain filling increased from 18% to 25%. Despite this, effects of elevated CO2 on crop growth moderated detrimental effects of climate change on yield. Increasing anthesissilking synchrony had the greatest effect on yield in low drought-stress seasonal patterns, whereas earlier maturity had the greatest effect in crops exposed to severe early-terminal drought stress. Segregating drought-stress patterns into key groups allowed greater insight into the effects of trait perturbation on crop yield under different weather conditions. We demonstrate that for crops exposed to the same drought-stress pattern, trait perturbation under current climates will have a similar impact on yield as that expected in future, even though the frequencies of severe drought stress will increase in future. These results have important ramifications for breeding of maize and have implications for studies examining genetic and physiological crop responses to environmental stresses.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:APSIM, breeding, drought, grain, model, trait, water stress, Zea mays
Research Division:Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, Land and Farm Management
Research Field:Sustainable Agricultural Development
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Summer Grains and Oilseeds
Objective Field:Maize
Author:Harrison, MT (Dr Matthew Harrison)
ID Code:89267
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:47
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2014-02-27
Last Modified:2017-11-06
Downloads:0

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