North-South divide: contrasting impacts of climate change on crop yields in Scotland and England

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  • first published online 15 May 2009, doi: 10.1098/rsif.2009.01117 2010 J. R. Soc. Interface Bruce D. L. FittMichael H. Butterworth, Mikhail A. Semenov, Andrew Barnes, Dominic Moran, Jonathan S. West and crop yields in Scotland and England

    South divide: contrasting impacts of climate change onNorth

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    correctionappended at the end of this reprint. The erratum is available online at: An erratum has been published for this article, the contents of which has been

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    on October 23, 2014rsif.royalsocietypublishing.orgDownloaded from on October 23, 2014rsif.royalsocietypublishing.orgDownloaded from on October 23, 2014rsif.royalsocietypublishing.orgDownloaded from;7/42/123&return_type=article&return_url=

  • J. R. Soc. Interface (2010) 7, 123130

    on October 23, 2014rsif.royalsocietypublishing.orgDownloaded from *Author for c

    Electronic sup10.1098/rsif.2

    doi:10.1098/rsif.2009.0111Published online 15 May 2009

    Received 25 MAccepted 8 ANorthSouth divide: contrastingimpacts of climate change on cropyields in Scotland and England

    Michael H. Butterworth1, Mikhail A. Semenov1, Andrew Barnes2,Dominic Moran2, Jonathan S. West1 and Bruce D. L. Fitt1,*

    1Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 2JQ, UK2Scottish Agricultural College, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG, UK

    Effects of climate change on productivity of agricultural crops in relation to diseases that attackthem are difficult to predict because they are complex and nonlinear. To investigate thesecropdiseaseclimate interactions, UKCIP02 scenarios predicting UK temperature and rainfallunder high- and low-CO2 emission scenarios for the 2020s and 2050s were combined witha crop-simulation model predicting yield of fungicide-treated winter oilseed rape and with aweather-based regression model predicting severity of phoma stem canker epidemics. The com-bination of climate scenarios and crop model predicted that climate change will increase yield offungicide-treated oilseed rape crops in Scotland by up to 0.5 t ha21 (15%). In contrast, insouthern England the combination of climate scenarios, crop, disease and yield loss models pre-dicted that climate change will increase yield losses from phoma stem canker epidemics to up to50 per cent (1.5 t ha21) and greatly decrease yield of untreated winter oilseed rape. The size oflosses is predicted to be greater for winter oilseed rape cultivars that are susceptible than forthose that are resistant to the phoma stem canker pathogen Leptosphaeria maculans. Suchpredictions illustrate the unexpected, contrasting impacts of aspects of climate change oncropdisease interactions in agricultural systems in different regions.

    Keywords: climate scenarios; crop simulation model;resistance to Leptosphaeria maculans; phoma stem canker; stochastic

    weather generator; weather-based disease forecast model1. INTRODUCTION

    Worldwide climate change is affecting agriculturalcrops (Metz et al. 2007; Stern 2007) and the diseasesthat attack them (Chakraborty 2005; Garrett et al.2006). Changing temperature and rainfall patternscan produce severe crop disease epidemics that threatenfood security (Chakraborty et al. 2000; Anderson et al.2004), especially in subsistence agriculture (Morton2007; Schmidhuber & Tubiello 2007). While muchattention has been given to modelling the predictedimpacts of climate change on crop yields, little researchhas been done into predicting the effects of climatechange on cropdisease interactions. To guide strategicgovernment food security policy and industry planningfor adaptation to climate change, there is a need for adetailed evaluation of future crop production in relationto predicted effects of climate change on both crop yieldand disease severity. Such an evaluation requires out-puts from quantitative models of cropdiseaseclimateinteractions. However, much work on effects of climatechange on crops and their diseases has been qualitativeorrespondence (

    plementary material is available at or via

    arch 2009pril 2009 123(Coakley et al. 1999; Anderson et al. 2004) and therehave been few attempts to produce combined cropdiseaseclimate models (Luo et al. 1995).

    The increased concentrations of CO2 associated withclimate change are expected to increase crop yields dueto a beneficial effect on photosynthetic efficiency (Ewertet al. 2002; Semenov 2009). However, these beneficialeffects could be counterbalanced by increases in stress fac-tors that have the opposite effect, such as summer waterstress and heat stress. Winter (autumn-sown) oilseedrape is an important arable crop in the UK, with largeareas grown in England (450 000 ha) and Scotland(400 000 ha) in 2006. Crops are often sown in lateAugust and harvested in mid-July the following year.Most of the oilseed rape is grown in the eastern half ofthe UK because the hilly terrain and lower soil fertilityare often unsuitable for arable crops in the west. Thearea grown is likely to expand, with increasing interestin the production of biodiesel from oilseed rape toreplace fossil fuels. The crop simulation model STICS(Simulateur mulTIdisciplinaire pour les CulturesStandard), developed by INRA (France), has been usedto simulate oilseed rape growth and yield (Brisson et al.2003) but assumes that diseases have been controlledwith fungicides and does not account for disease losses.This journal is q 2009 The Royal Society

  • climate scenarios forUKCIP02 projections

    15 sites

    STICS crop model

    fungicidetreated yields

    figure 2

    yield lossfigures 3 and 4

    interpolation by UKregions

    untreated yields byUK regions

    table 1

    phoma stem cankermodel

    Figure 1. Relationships between different components of themodelling and analysis. (1) Weather data were generated forfive UKCIP02 climate change scenarios (baseline (19601990), 2020LO, 2020HI, 2050LO, 2050HI) for 15 sites overthe UK (Semenov 2007). (2) These weather data wereinputted into an oilseed rape crop growth simulation model,STICS (Brisson et al. 2003) and a weather-based regressionmodel for predicting severity of phoma stem canker epidemics,PASSWORD (Evans et al. 2008). (3) The STICS model wasused to generate yield data for crops treated with fungicidesagainst diseases for each site/climate change scenario(figure 2). A yield loss model was used to estimate yieldlosses from stem canker severity predictions for oilseed rapecultivars that were susceptible (figure 3) or resistant(figure 4) to Leptosphaeria maculans. (4) Fungicide-treatedcrop yield data and yield loss data were interpolated accordingto UK government regions as used in the 2006 DefraAgricultural and Horticultural Survey and combined toestimate untreated crop yields (table 1).

    124 Contrasting impacts of climate change on crop yields M. H. Butterworth et al.

    on October 23, 2014rsif.royalsocietypublishing.orgDownloaded from The increase in temperature associated with climatechange may increase the severity of crop diseaseepidemics (Evans et al. 2008). The most importantoilseed rape disease in the UK is phoma stem canker(Leptosphaeria maculans), which causes severe losseseach year despite expenditure of more than 12 millionon fungicides (Fitt et al. 2006). Worldwide, the mostsevere epidemics occur in Australia, with itsMediterranean climate (Howlett et al. 2001). Globally,losses from phoma stem canker exceed 500 millionper season (Fitt et al. 2008). Although phoma stemcanker currently causes severe epidemics on winter oil-seed rape in France (latitude 42518 N; Fitt et al.2006) and England (latitude 50558 N), the diseasedoes not cause yield loss further north, in Scotland (lati-tude 55598 N; Evans et al. 2008). Although the initialphoma leaf spotting phase of the disease (West et al.2001) occurs in autumn in all these regions, colder win-ters in Scotland