Mula, Laura (2014) Adaptation strategies of Mediterranean cropping systems to climate change. Doctoral Thesis.
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The EPIC simulation model was used to assess the impact of climate change (CC) on intensive and extensive Mediterranean forage systems to study the effects of CC and adaptation strategies.
The intensive cropping system (corn silage – Italian ryegrass) is linked to dairy cattle farms. As first step the EPIC model was calibrated based on experimental data. After calibration the EPIC model was used to perform simulations with different climate scenarios (present and future climate) with different atmospheric CO2 concentration (380 and 407 ppm). In this way we were able to assess the impact of CC on crop production, water demand and phenology. Moreover the effect of an adaptation strategy such as the use of different variety was simulated.
For extensive cropping systems, natural pastures were considered. Despite their important productive role and environmental significance, the natural pastures are difficult to study. The pasture productive dynamics is known, however, more knowledge regarding the relationships between climate and production are required to improve the interpretation of the interannual variability. To this end, the verification or development of predictive models should go through an approach based on specific research aim to study the multiple sources of environmental variation. With the aim to explore the possibility to assess the impact of CC on natural pastures the EPIC model was chosen thanks to its simplified method used to simulate the crop growth.
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