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Research Project: Improving Air Quality, Soil Health and Nutrient Use Efficiency to Increase Northwest Agroecosystem Performance

Location: Northwest Sustainable Agroecosystems Research

Title: Confronting climate change challenges to dryland cereal production: a call for international collaborative, transdisciplinary research and producer engagement

item EIGENBRODE, SANFORD - University Of Idaho
item BINNS, PATRICK - Westbrook Associates Llc
item Huggins, David

Submitted to: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/8/2017
Publication Date: 1/4/2018
Citation: Eigenbrode, S.D., Binns, P., Huggins, D.R. 2018. Confronting climate change challenges to dryland cereal production: a call for international collaborative, transdisciplinary research and producer engagement. FRONTIERS IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION.

Interpretive Summary: Meeting the challenges of climate change requires efforts that integrate knowledge across many scientific disciplines. We identified major calls to action that are required to further coordinate among various scientific disciplines and improve our impact for addressing these challenges. We concluded the following: (1) establishment of coordinated, large scale efforts that involve scientists from multiple disciplines would advance these efforts; (2) disciplines that cross social, economic, and biophysical science and engineering are required; (3) improved integration among these groups is needed; (4) taking a more global perspective and developing global networks would be beneficial; (5) developing cropping system models that include these multiple disciplines is needed; and (6) further efforts to promote data management and data sharing is needed. These results will be useful for policy makers, NRCS, and scientists interested in coordinating agricultural efforts to meet the challenges of climate change.

Technical Abstract: Semi-arid cereal systems face challenges worldwide that are driven by ongoing and projected climate change. These challenges include ensuring cropping system resilience and productivity under changing water and temperature regimes while reversing soil degradation, reducing crop susceptibility to pests, pathogens and weed competition, and exploiting genetic resources to develop cultivars with resilience to climate stresses and improved compatibility with cropping system innovations. Meeting these interdependent challenges requires transdisciplinary efforts that integrate knowledge across many scientific domains. The USDA-NIFA-funded coordinated agricultural project, “Regional Approaches to Climate Change for Pacific Northwest Agriculture” (REACCH), employed this transdisciplinary approach to address climate change and sustainability challenges for rain-fed cereal-based systems in the semi-arid intermountain Pacific Northwest. To engage with and contribute to similar efforts globally, REACCH sponsored a workshop “Transitioning Cereal Systems to Adapt to Climate Change” (TCSACC) in November 2015. Participants from 17 countries and five continents with expertise in agronomy, crop physiology, crop modeling, crop protection, breeding and genetics, sociology and economics shared their perspectives, successes, and challenges to achieving transdisciplinary research integration for semi-arid cereal systems under changing climates. Conference goals were to: (1) strengthen the global network of researchers addressing climate change effects on semi-arid cereal-based systems, (2) share the approaches to achieving transdisciplinary collaboration to advance climate change resilience in cereal systems, and (3) identify the elements of a collaborative research agenda that is needed to advance global food security in the 21st century. This paper distills the conference themes and summarizes the calls to action that were discussed: Establish coordinated, large scale, transdisciplinary efforts; Consider G x E x M x S interactions; Integrate social, economic, and biophysical science, and engineering; Improve integration among knowledge communities; Consider global context of production systems; Develop more inclusive cropping system models; Enable comprehensive data management and data sharing; Include landscape and ecosystem services perspectives; Establish and support existing global networks.