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Relationships between tropical annual cropping systems and climate change

Gérardeaux E., Affholder F., Bernoux M., Muller B.. 2016. In : Torquebiau Emmanuel (ed.), Manley David (trad.), Cowan Paul (trad.). Climate change and agriculture worldwide. Heidelberg : Springer, p. 109-124.

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-7462-8_9

Annual crops on family farms in tropical regions are highly sensitive to climate. The increase in temperature will accelerate the growth and development of crops, thus shortening their seasonal cycle, in turn resulting in a decrease in intercepted solar radiation. Climate warming will increase the atmospheric evaporative demand, thermal stress frequency and crop maintenance respiration, likely resulting in lower yields. Conversely, reduced cold stress and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide storage are factors that increase yields. Little is known about changes in rainfall patterns, wind velocities and solar radiation. Given the poorly predicted positive and negative effects of biotic stress and potential interactions, there are still too many uncertainties to be able to forecast how yield patterns will change for most crops. Crop models are promising prospective analysis tools because they incorporate some of this complexity, but there is still insufficient data and expertise to be able to calibrate and validate them. Tropical agriculture can contribute to enhancing carbon storage or to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but adaptation to climate hazards is also necessary to ensure food security and income for farmers. Techniques such as conservation agriculture, agroforestry, sustainable rice intensification (intermittent drying of rice fields), planting holes or index insurance can help fulfil these two objectives.

Mots-clés : système de culture; changement climatique; exploitation agricole familiale

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