TomorrowS - Designing cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L) and durum wheat (Triticum durum) crop management ideotypes (cultivars, fertilization, salinity and irrigation) by simulation under current and projected future climate with comparative studies in Greece and Tunisia
Eleni Tsaliki, HELLENIC AGRICULTURAL ORGANIZATION - DEMETER; Greece
Cotton, durum wheat, climate change, water and fertilizer use efficiency, salt tolerance
Agricultural production will be decisively affected as global climate change continues and water shortage and drought are becoming increasingly serious constraints that limit crop production, not only in Mediterranean area but also worldwide. The project TomorrowS will largely focus on the impact of climate change on cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L) and durum wheat (Triticum durum), two main crops in the Mediterranean region. These crops have a negative environmental impact due to increased use of inputs involved in building resilience to biotic and abiotic stresses. The aim of TomorrowS is the optimization of crop management for these two major Mediterranean crops, in order to adapt them to projected climate change negative impacts. Therefore, TomorrowS will reduce uncertainties on crop yield and will provide supporting information to help farmers managing their crop. In addition, due to uncertainties on irrigation water availability and pesticides costs, TomorrowS will target in cropping systems that are resilient to sub-optimal use of such inputs.Besides the above stated main objectives, this project also aims to provide a generic methodological framework to design sustainable agriculture systems for other crops and countries, and last but not least, promote synergies among young researchers. TomorrowS is a trans-disciplinary project as it requires insights from agronomy, physiology, crop modeling and data management to generate the optimized cropping systems. Three young researchers from Greece, Tunisia and France will exchange knowledge, cooperate and strengthen their scientific capacities thanks to TomorrowS.Cotton, is a major agricultural crop in Greece, accounting for more than 8% of total agricultural output, engaging more than 75,000 farmers while durum wheat is the most cultivated crop in Mediterranean basin, representing the main population diet component for pasta. In Greece, durum wheat covered 16.2% of the total cultivated area and 60% of total production is exported mainly in Italy while in Tunisia, is the primary food source as the consumption reaches 258 kg per year per capita.The dataset will be generated by two years of Genotype x Environment x Crop Management (GEM) experiments conducted in Greece and in Tunisia for 3 to 4 commercial varieties of cotton and durum wheat. The factors studied in the GEM experiments will be the cultivar, amount of fertilization, amount of irrigation and salt content of irrigation water. These GEM experiments will provide sufficient data to calibrate, evaluate and enhance a deterministic crop model embedded in the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) software application, which will be accomplished by the French partner. Once, GEM interactions are properly described and calibrated in the model, the model will be used to simulate virtual ideotype of crop management and describe the tradeoff between production, resilience and use of resources along with the uncertainty on production. In addition, economic viability of crop management ideotypes will be evaluated.The results from TomorrowS will be diffused to the scientific community through publications in national and international journals and also with the participation of the consortium members to international conferences and national meetings.Summarizing, this ARIMNET2 project implementation will contribute to the adaptation of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L) and durum wheat (Triticum durum) crop managements facing constraint such as irrigation water salinity, under the present and the projected future Mediterranean climates. In that context, the results should contribute to (i) increase yield while reducing yield inter-annual variability, (ii) increase economic viability of farms by increasing water and fertilizer use efficiencies.