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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Soil, Water & Air Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #293855

Title: Temperature, global climate change and food security

item REDDEN, ROBERT - Department Of Primary Industries
item Hatfield, Jerry
item PRASAD, PV VARA - Kansas State University
item EBERT, ANDREAS - The World Vegetable Center (AVRDC) - Taiwan
item YADAV, SHAYAM - Government Of Islamic Republic Of Afghanistan
item O'LEARY, GARRY - Department Of Primary Industries

Submitted to: Temperature and Plant Development
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/18/2013
Publication Date: 9/15/2014
Citation: Redden, R.J., Hatfield, J.L., Prasad, P., Ebert, A.W., Yadav, S.S., O'Leary, G.J. 2014. Temperature, global climate change and food security. In: Franklin, K.A., Wiffe, P.A., editors. Temperature and Plant Development. Hoboken, NJ:Wiley-Blackwell. p. 181-202.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Accelerated climate change is expected to have a significant, but variable impact on the world’s major cropping zones. Crops will experience increasingly warmer, drier and more variable growing conditions in the temperate to subtropical latitudes towards 2050 and beyond. Short-term (1-5 day) spikes of extreme weather may be hotter than previously experienced, occasional frosts during the reproductive period may be more frequent, and rainfall less dependable and more variable. More irregular and concentrated storms may increase flood damage to crops in the tropics. These predicted trends will create a production and food risk for subsistence farmers and for increasingly urbanised societies worldwide. To maintain and increase crop productivity in increasingly hostile environments, novel sources of genetic variation must be sought if crops are to adapt to climate change. There are large but little explored gene pools among wild relatives of crops, some readily available to the domestic gene pools through conventional hybridisation. More genetically distant relatives in the tertiary gene pool will require genetic engineering techniques for introgression of the desired major and quantitative genes. For traits that are difficult to phenotype, marker assisted selection will be important, especially within-gene or perfect markers. Often, wild relatives have survived on non-arable and marginal lands, in stressful environments. Because only a small part of this wide diversity was captured during the domestication of crops, there is a real likelihood that tolerance of extreme temperature, drought, and soil stresses can be found in the wild gene pools that have evolutionary history extending back hundreds of millennia and across very diverse environments. In contrast, the evolution of crops is relatively recent, comprising the last 1,000 – 11,000 years. Exploitation of genetic resources for tolerance of warmer global temperatures and associated extreme heat spikes during crop seasons will primarily depend on domestic landraces from extreme environments, followed by the selective filtering of desired genes from wild relatives.