Work package 3

Projected and observed impacts of climate change and climate extremes on the agriculture and forestry in Europe-Russia-Turkey Region with special focus on European Russia and Siberia

Work package 3.1. Assessment of changes of forest- and agro-climatic conditions in past, present and future

Due to rapidly increasing greenhouse gases emission in the atmosphere, land surface temperature has shown an increasing trend since the industrial revolution. In this study, we will investigate the change in sowing time, start and end of the growing season for crops and forests, and impacts of land surface temperature change on the phenological periods.

We hypothesize that under changing climate conditions, sowing period, start and end of the growing season and flowering periods will be offset. This will directly affect the quality and quantity of crop yields and forest production, and also the CO2 uptake from the atmosphere due to the change in growing season length for the plants. This work will demonstrate a strong need to include more realistic and dynamic growing seasons in ecosystem models. The methods used in this study are expected to be suitable for other types of models that require information on vegetation cover, such as meteorological and regional climate models. Worldwide cereals are the most common staple food and we will therefore concentrate our efforts on cereals. We will consider coniferous and broad-leaved trees specific for the study area.

For our aims, we will firstly focus on developing bioclimatic algorithms for start and end of growing season, sowing days, harvesting days for target crops (i.e. wheat, barley and maise) and deciduous plant functional types in the study area. Extreme changes in the climate will be analszed and the impacts of the extreme events on the phenological phases and shifting in phenological phases will be investigated. With these analyses, we will aim to develop new bioclimatic algorithms for simulation of the phenological processes for deciduous plant functional types of the forests in the study region. We will also investigate the change in phenological processes by analysing the change in bioclimatic conditions of the target species in the future up to 2100. For these purposes, we will use the reanalysed climate data from the WP1.

Work package 3.2. Assessment of observed and projected changes in agriculture and forestry sector in the 20th and 21st centuries.

In order to investigate the impacts of the change in shifting of GPP and NPP and total vegetation carbon of the forests, and crop yields in the 20th and 21st centuries, the Community Land Model version 4.5 (CLM4.5) will be used . It is the latest in a series of land models developed within the Community Earth System Model (CESM) project. The model simulates and quantifies among others biogeochemical and biogeophysical land processes by formalization of ecological and climatological concepts [Oleson et al, 2010; Lawrence et al, 2011]. The model will provide data about crop and forest production GPP, NPP and TOTVegC for the study region and period.

All of the above components are generic and are present in most crop or plant models. Therefore the bioclimatological principles may be tested separately and compared to water balances and other crop or plant models. In addition, and for past measurements, certain modules may be cross-checked with observations made by the recent satellite missions (Sentinel suite, Proba-V) designed for agriculture and forestry purposes, and performing well in phenology detection. . Further analysis will establish vulnerable regions in the study area and the impact on crop yield and forest production. Impact analysis under different climate scenarios will enable formulation of adaptation and mitigation strategies. To develop mitigation strategies for crops, we will do field studies. For this purposes, we will sowing the crops at different times in the seasons, to investigate the impacts of the change in sowing times on the crop yields.

In order to share the findings of the project with a wider audience dedicated dissemination activities will be conducted. All partners have broad  collaboration networks and contribute to the clustering activities. For stakeholder interactions and in the dissemination activities the consortium efficiently utilizes the existing channels. Many partners have or have had substantial responsibilities in local, national or international research institutions, projects or programmes. To promote the project activities a tailored publication strategy will be implemented, e.g. reports in scientific, technical and association magazines and portals. The central dissemination tool will be an interactive web-site (WP4.1)