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Frontiers of Earth Science

Front. Earth Sci.
Climate change impact and adaptation on wheat yield, water use and water use efficiency at North Nile Delta
Marwa Gamal Mohamed ALI1,2, Mahmoud Mohamed IBRAHIM1, Ahmed El BAROUDY1, Michael FULLEN3, El-Said Hamad OMAR2, Zheli DING4, Ahmed Mohammed Saad KHEIR2()
1. Soil and Water Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Tanta University, Tanta 33516 Egypt
2. Soils, Water and Environment Research Institute, Agricultural Research Center, Giza 12411 Egypt
3. Faculty of Science and Engineering, The University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton WV1 1LY, UK
4. Haikou Experimental Station, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS), Haikou 570000 China
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Investigation of climate change impacts on food security has become a global hot spot. Even so, efforts to mitigate these issues in arid regions have been insufficient. Thus, in this paper, further research is discussed based on data obtained from various crop and climate models. Two DSSAT crop models (CMs) (CERES-Wheat and N-Wheat) were calibrated with two wheat cultivars (Gemiza9 and Misr1). A baseline simulation (1981-2010) was compared with different scenarios of simulations using three Global Climate Models (GCMs) for the 2030s, 2050s and 2080s. Probable impacts of climate change were assessed using the GCMs and CMs under the high emission Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP8.5). Results predicted decreased wheat grain yields by a mean of 8.7%, 11.4% and 13.2% in the 2030s, 2050s and 2080s, respectively, relative to the baseline yield. Negative impacts of climatic change are probable, despite some uncertainties within the GCMs (i.e., 2.1%, 5.0% and 8.0%) and CMs (i.e., 2.2%, 6.0% and 9.2%). Changing the planting date with a scenario of plus or minus 5 or 10 days from the common practice was assessed as a potentially effective adaptation option, which may partially offset the negative impacts of climate change. Delaying the sowing date by 10 days (from 20 November to 30 November) proved the optimum scenario and decreased further reduction in wheat yields resulting from climate change to 5.2%, 6.8% and 8.5% in the 2030s, 2050s and 2080s, respectively, compared with the 20 November scenario. The planting 5-days earlier scenario showed a decreased impact on climate change adaptation. However, the 10-days early planting scenario increased yield reduction under projected climate change. The cultivar Misr1 was more resistant to rising temperature than Gemiza9. Despite the negative impacts of projected climate change on wheat production, water use efficiency would slightly increase. The ensemble of multi-model estimated impacts and adaptation uncertainties of climate change can assist decision-makers in planning climate adaptation strategies.

Keywords DSSAT models      scenarios      adaptation      water use efficiency      climate change     
Corresponding Author(s): Ahmed Mohammed Saad KHEIR   
Online First Date: 29 April 2020   
 Cite this article:   
Marwa Gamal Mohamed ALI,Mahmoud Mohamed IBRAHIM,Ahmed El BAROUDY, et al. Climate change impact and adaptation on wheat yield, water use and water use efficiency at North Nile Delta[J]. Front. Earth Sci., 29 April 2020. [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1007/s11707-019-0806-4.
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Marwa Gamal Mohamed ALI
Mahmoud Mohamed IBRAHIM
Michael FULLEN
El-Said Hamad OMAR
Zheli DING
Ahmed Mohammed Saad KHEIR
Soil depth/cm Particle size distribution/% Texture FC/% WP/% AW/%
Sand Silt Clay
0–20 18.7 31.5 49.8 clay 43.0 22.0 21.0
20–40 15.7 32.6 51.7 clay 44.0 22.5 21.5
40–60 16.5 35.1 48.2 clay 41.7 21.0 20.7
Soil depth
Available macronutrients
0–20 3.2 8.1 1.5 62 10.7 249 0.45
20–40 3.4 8 1.4 48 9.9 241 0.49
40–60 3.6 7.8 1.1 35 8.5 206 0.38
Tab.1  Initial soil physico-chemical analysis before cultivation
Fig.1  Daily maximum temperature (Tmax), minimum temperature (Tmin), solar radiation (SRAD) and precipitation (rainfall) at Sakha during three growing seasons (2015/2016, 2016/2017 and 2017/2018).
Fig.2  Relative changes in daily solar radiation, maximum temperature and minimum temperature compared to the baseline under RCP8.5 and three global climate models (GCMs) during the 21st Century.
Models Parameter Parameter definition Initial *Misr1 Gemiza9
CERES-Wheat P1D Photoperiod sensitivity coefficient 75 30 97
P1V Vernalization sensitivity coefficient 5.0 30 0.0
P5 Thermal time from the onset of grain-filling to maturity/°Cd 450 553 600
G1 Kernel number per unit stem and spike weight at anthesis/(kernel·g1) 30 32 24
G2 Standard kernel size under optimum conditions/mg 35 35 49
G3 Maximum stem and spike weight when elongation ceases 1.0 7.8 1.0
PHINT Thermal time between the appearance of leaf tips/°Cd 60 100 100
N-Wheat VSEN Sensitivity to vernalization 1.0 2.8 0.0
PPSEN Sensitivity to photoperiod 1.2 2.2 4.2
P1 Thermal time from emergence to the end of juvenile/°Cd 400 400 400
P5 Thermal time from beginning of grain filling to maturity/°Cd 600 510 518
PHINT Phyllochron interval 120 100 100
GRNO Coefficient of kernel number per stem weight at the beginning of grain filling/(kernels·(g stem)1) 24 32 32
MXFIL Potential kernel growth rate/(mg· kernelday1) 1.9 3.0 3.0
STMMX Potential final dry weight of a single tiller, excluding grain 3.0 4.0 3.0
Tab.2  Genetic coefficients of two cultivars (Misr1 and Gemiza9) for two crop models (CERES-Wheat and N-Wheat)
Fig.3  Calibrations and validation of N-Wheat (triangle) and CERES-Wheat (scatter points) models under different irrigation treatments for two cultivars (Gemiza9 and Misr1) in three growing seasons.
Model evaluation indices N-Wheat model CERES-Wheat model
Grain yield Total biomass Grain yield Total biomass
Misr1 R2 0.95 0.98 0.92 0.89
RMSD (kg•ha1) 450 591 480 995
WI 0.98 0.98 0.96 0.97
Anthesis Maturity Anthesis Maturity
R2 0.67 0.73 0.62 0.73
RMSD (days) 2 2 3 3
WI 0.91 0.89 0.86 0.94
Grain yield Total biomass Grain yield Total biomass
R2 0.89 0.88 0.85 0.85
RMSD (kg•ha1) 641 1012 785 1200
Gemiza9 WI 0.93 0.90 0.88 0.82
Anthesis Maturity Anthesis Maturity
R2 0.65 0.75 0.55 0.69
RMSD (kg•ha1) 2 3 3 3
WI 0.85 0.84 0.77 0.87
Tab.3  The performance evaluation of N-Wheat and CERES-Wheat for Misr1 and Gemiza9 spring wheat cultivars
Fig.4  Change of daily maximum and minimum temperature relative to the baseline (1981–2010) under three GCMs and RCP8.5 through the 21st century.
Fig.5  Grain wheat yield (a), relative change (b) compared with the baseline (1981–2010) for both cultivars, open bars (Gemiza9) and closed bars (Misr1) and mean relative change of both cultivars (c) using two crop models (CMs) and three GCMs and RCP8.5 through the 21st century under current planting date (20 November) without adaptation.
Fig.6  Uncertainty of CMs and GCMs. Uncertainties are relative standard deviations based on two CMs (N-Wheat and CERES-Wheat) and three GCMs.
Fig.7  Accumulated seasonal evapotranspiration in baseline, short, mid- and end of century under different GCMs blue, green, and red for GFDL-ES2M, CSIRO-MK3-6-0, and HADGEM2-ES, respectively.
Fig.8  Water use efficiency in baseline, short, mid-, and end of century under different GCMs blue, green, and red for GFDL-ES2M, CSIRO-MK3-6-0, and HADGEM2-ES, respectively
Cultivars Crop model 2030 2050 2080
Misr1 N-Wheat -3 -4 -5 -5 -6 -7 -6 -7 -10
CERES -2 -4 -6 -3 -5 -8 -4 -8 -9
Gemiza9 N-Wheat -4 -5 -6 -7 -8 -8 -7 -9 -13
CERES -3 -5 -7 -4 -6 -10 -5 -11 -14
Tab.4  Changes in wheat growth duration (days) for the studied cultivars relative to the baseline (1981–2010) under different climate scenarios on the North Nile Delta
Fig.9  Relative grain yield reduction (%) compared to the baseline in different time series as an average for both cultivars (a, above), without and with adaptations. Adaptations included A (delay sowing date by 5 days), B (delay sowing date by 10 days), C (early sowing by 5 days), and D (early sowing by 10 days), and % grain yield decrease compared to baseline data for both cultivars (Misr1 and Gemiza9) under the same adaptation options (A, B, C, and D) in 2030, 2050, and 2080 (b, below).
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