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Kimberly Nicholas

Kimberly Nicholas

Senior Lecturer, Docent, Director of Studies PhD school

Kimberly Nicholas

Diversity buffers winegrowing regions from climate change losses

Author

  • Ignacio Morales-Castilla
  • Iñaki García de Cortázar-Atauri
  • Benjamin I. Cook
  • Thierry Lacombe
  • Amber Parker
  • Cornelis van Leeuwen
  • Kimberly A. Nicholas
  • Elizabeth M. Wolkovich

Summary, in English

Agrobiodiversity—the variation within agricultural plants, animals, and practices—is often suggested as a way to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change on crops [S. A. Wood et al., Trends Ecol. Evol. 30, 531–539 (2015)]. Recently, increasing research and attention has focused on exploiting the intraspecific genetic variation within a crop [Hajjar et al., Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 123, 261–270 (2008)], despite few relevant tests of how this diversity modifies agricultural forecasts. Here, we quantify how intraspecific diversity, via cultivars, changes global projections of growing areas. We focus on a crop that spans diverse climates, has the necessary records, and is clearly impacted by climate change: winegrapes (predominantly Vitis vinifera subspecies vinifera). We draw on long-term French records to extrapolate globally for 11 cultivars (varieties) with high diversity in a key trait for climate change adaptation—phenology. We compared scenarios where growers shift to more climatically suitable cultivars as the climate warms or do not change cultivars. We find that cultivar diversity more than halved projected losses of current winegrowing areas under a 2 C warming scenario, decreasing areas lost from 56 to 24%. These benefits are more muted at higher warming scenarios, reducing areas lost by a third at 4 C (85% versus 58%). Our results support the potential of in situ shifting of cultivars to adapt agriculture to climate change—including in major winegrowing regions—as long as efforts to avoid higher warming scenarios are successful.

Department/s

  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
  • BECC - Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate

Publishing year

2020-02-11

Language

English

Pages

2864-2869

Publication/Series

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Volume

117

Issue

6

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

National Acad Sciences

Topic

  • Climate Research
  • Ecology

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Agrobiodiversity
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Phenology
  • Resilience

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0027-8424