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October 25, 2018 Thursday 04:55:08 PM IST
Crops respond differently towards heat and drought under climate change

Modern summer often brings lots of heat and serious drought -- and crops that wither and die. Such climate events are expected to increase in the years to come due to climate change. Hence agriculture world-wide is in look out for crops and cultivation methods better suited to the new conditions. Search is for crops which will yield under climate change. Researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark have studied this issue and has published their results in Nature Communications.

The defense mechanisms of plants against drought are different from those used to protect against heat stress. The researchers found that under climate change maize will be most affected by drought and less so by heat stress. If agriculture continues to use the current varieties and current cropping systems, climate change on a whole will lead to yield losses in maize and increasing yields in wheat. The result from Europe suggest that drought will be a bigger problem than heat, and that drought is a bigger problem for maize than wheat.

Knowing that drought will be the problem, farmers and plant breeders can more readily take measures with regard to developing new crop varieties, and choosing crop types, cropping systems and irrigation systems.

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06525-2

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