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Climate change effects on growth and reproductive development of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.)

de La Vega, Bernardo (2017) BIOY01 20161
Degree Projects in Biology
Abstract
The growing world population will demand an increase in agriculture production to sustain the consumption of food and demands for bioenergy. Nevertheless, negative impacts on crop production have been observed due to effects of climate change, which threatens our ability to sustain future demands. Yield reductions due to warmer conditions and more frequent extreme weather events were increasingly observed during the past years, and major effects are being expected for the near future. In this study, I investigate the effects of warmer temperatures and extreme weather events on the reproductive development of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.). My experiment consisted out of three simulated scenarios of winter conditions, control (2-4°C),... (More)
The growing world population will demand an increase in agriculture production to sustain the consumption of food and demands for bioenergy. Nevertheless, negative impacts on crop production have been observed due to effects of climate change, which threatens our ability to sustain future demands. Yield reductions due to warmer conditions and more frequent extreme weather events were increasingly observed during the past years, and major effects are being expected for the near future. In this study, I investigate the effects of warmer temperatures and extreme weather events on the reproductive development of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.). My experiment consisted out of three simulated scenarios of winter conditions, control (2-4°C), winter with high temperatures (10-12 °C) as well as shorter winter (6 weeks at 2-4 °C and 6 weeks at 10-12 °C). Moreover, effects of a natural thunderstorm during the experiment were analyzed as impacts of extreme weather events. I found that both, altered winter temperatures and the extreme weather event had detrimental effects on yield. Altered winter conditions caused yield reductions compared to control conditions, but there was no difference in yield between the shorter winter and the winter with higher temperature. Altered winter conditions also reduced flower production and vegetative growth, whereas the extreme weather event diminished yield by destroying almost ripe pods. Our results show that climate change conditions have harmful effects on the reproductive development of oilseed, with both altered winter conditions and extreme weather events causing yield losses. These findings help to understand how a changing climate affects crops productivity and thus provide relevant knowledge to better predict future climate impacts on agriculture. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Will crops produce less seeds in the future?

According to recent studies, this is a possibility. These studies provide evidences pointing to a reduction in yield due to climate change effects, which can impact the development of crops by either affecting their physiology or physically damaging the body plant. Consequently, the yield gets compromised, and so does agriculture productivity. Therefore, would future predictions for weather instability turn out to be real, we can expect major obstacles to sustain the growing population’s demand for food.

In accordance to these studies, my project tries to understand how a changing climate can affect the development of crops. To simulate climate change conditions, I did an experiment... (More)
Will crops produce less seeds in the future?

According to recent studies, this is a possibility. These studies provide evidences pointing to a reduction in yield due to climate change effects, which can impact the development of crops by either affecting their physiology or physically damaging the body plant. Consequently, the yield gets compromised, and so does agriculture productivity. Therefore, would future predictions for weather instability turn out to be real, we can expect major obstacles to sustain the growing population’s demand for food.

In accordance to these studies, my project tries to understand how a changing climate can affect the development of crops. To simulate climate change conditions, I did an experiment exposing winter oilseed rape to different temperatures and to an extreme weather event. I exposed the plants to three sets of treatments with different temperatures: the normal winter temperatures (12 weeks at 2-4°C), the winter with high temperatures (12 weeks at 10-12 °C) and the shorter winter (6 weeks at 2-4 °C and 6 weeks at 10-12 °C). By the end of this experiment a natural thunderstorm afflicted the plants and caused major disturbances, which was accounted for the effects of extreme weather events on crops.

My results show evidence that temperature increase and extreme weather events can cause yield reduction in winter oilseed rape. The effects of high temperatures have led to a reduction in the number of side stems and flowers, which consequently impacted yield. Likewise, the effects of the thunderstorm also reduced yield, but by destroying almost ripe pods. Based on that result, it is finally possible to answer the question: will crops produce less seeds in the future?

The magnitude of the impacts of a changing climate scenario remains unclear. However, I can affirm that its effects on oilseed rape and most likely on a great number of crops that needs similar requirements are very detrimental. Under such temperature change and weather instability, their development can be affected in terms of plant body structure and phyto-hormone regulation. Nevertheless, crops with different demands might not be as affected as oilseed rape, as also shown by previous studies. Therefore, further research to increase the understanding of the effects of climate change are needed to better foresee future impacts in agriculture and prevent from a food unsafety scenario.

Degree Project in Biology 30 credits
Department of Biology, Lund University

Supervisors: Björn Klatt (Department of Biology)
Lina Herbertsson (Centre for Environmental and Climate Research) (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
de La Vega, Bernardo
supervisor
organization
course
BIOY01 20161
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
language
English
id
8928757
date added to LUP
2017-11-22 16:07:04
date last changed
2017-11-22 16:07:04
@misc{8928757,
  abstract     = {The growing world population will demand an increase in agriculture production to sustain the consumption of food and demands for bioenergy. Nevertheless, negative impacts on crop production have been observed due to effects of climate change, which threatens our ability to sustain future demands. Yield reductions due to warmer conditions and more frequent extreme weather events were increasingly observed during the past years, and major effects are being expected for the near future. In this study, I investigate the effects of warmer temperatures and extreme weather events on the reproductive development of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.). My experiment consisted out of three simulated scenarios of winter conditions, control (2-4°C), winter with high temperatures (10-12 °C) as well as shorter winter (6 weeks at 2-4 °C and 6 weeks at 10-12 °C). Moreover, effects of a natural thunderstorm during the experiment were analyzed as impacts of extreme weather events. I found that both, altered winter temperatures and the extreme weather event had detrimental effects on yield. Altered winter conditions caused yield reductions compared to control conditions, but there was no difference in yield between the shorter winter and the winter with higher temperature. Altered winter conditions also reduced flower production and vegetative growth, whereas the extreme weather event diminished yield by destroying almost ripe pods. Our results show that climate change conditions have harmful effects on the reproductive development of oilseed, with both altered winter conditions and extreme weather events causing yield losses. These findings help to understand how a changing climate affects crops productivity and thus provide relevant knowledge to better predict future climate impacts on agriculture.},
  author       = {de La Vega, Bernardo},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Climate change effects on growth and reproductive development of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.)},
  year         = {2017},
}