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Contrasted response to climate change of winter and spring grain legumes in Southwestern France

Falconnier G.N., Vermue A., Journet E.P., Christina M., Bedoussac L., Justes E.. 2020. Field Crops Research, 259 : 15 p..

DOI: 10.1016/j.fcr.2020.107967

Climate change could undermine grain legumes ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen and their contribution to increase cropping systems sustainability. Pea (Pisum sativum L.) and faba bean (Vicia faba L.) are the two most widely grown grain legumes in Europe, yet the potential impact of climate change on their performances has not been quantified. We calibrated and evaluated the STICS soil-crop model for spring pea, winter pea and winter faba bean using experimental data from southwestern France and explored the effect of contrasting climate change scenarios. After calibration, STICS accurately simulated grain yield and amount of N2 fixed for the experimental growing seasons. Assuming no change in crop management, mean and inter-annual variability of grain yield and fixed N2 were assessed for historical (1995-2015), mid-term (2020-2040) and long-term (2060-2080) periods in one location in southwestern France. We considered projections from three climate models and two Representative [CO2] Pathways (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5). The climate models spanned a wide range of changes in temperature (+0.3 to +4.1 °C) and rainfall (-15% to +8%) depending on time horizon and RCP. Simulated grain yield increased over the long term in most scenarios (+1 to +25%), and spring pea tended to benefit less than winter pea and winter faba bean. Nevertheless, for the climate scenario with a decrease in rainfall and the strongest increase in temperature, simulated spring pea grain yield decreased by 28% while winter legumes yields were less affected (-14% for pea and no decrease for faba bean). Simulated changes in the amount of N2 fixed followed the grain yield response. Temperature rise caused a shortening in crop cycle duration. Simulated temperature stress significantly increased for spring and winter pea in most climate change scenarios while winter faba bean was rather unaffected due to greater upper temperature thresholds. N2 fixation of spring pea was reduced by above-optimal temperature during its vegetative growth in spring while N2 fixation of winter legumes was enhanced by the increase in temperature during their vegetative growth in winter. Simulated drought stress only increased in the climate scenario predicting a decrease in rainfall. Overall, [CO2] increase would allow offsetting negative effects of temperature and drought on grain yield and N2 fixation, except for climate scenarios involving a decrease in rainfall and the strong increase in temperature. The contrasted simulated response of winter and spring grain legumes to climate change in southwestern France points to the opportunity to tap grain legume diversity and cultivar choice as an adaptation strategy.

Mots-clés : changement climatique; pisum sativum; vicia faba; réponse de la plante; légumineuse à grains; performance de culture; modélisation des cultures; france

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